Strengthening the Affordable Care Act
Leading Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced important new legislation to improve the affordability of private individual health insurance and bolster enrollment in the Exchanges (e.g. Covered California).
It would provide federal reinsurance funding for the most costly cases in the individual market. This would allow for a better risk profile and lower premiums throughout the individual market. It has already worked well in a number of different states.
It would extend premium assistance to those middle income families and individuals with incomes over 400% of FPL so their premiums do not ever exceed 8.5% of income. This is much needed and warranted.
It would markedly reduce the premium contributions for those with incomes with low and moderate incomes under 400% of FPL. For example, premium contributions from an individual earning 150% of FPL would be cut in half and premium contriutions for an individual or family earning 300% of FPL would be reduced by 30%.
It would repeal the Trump Administration efforts to use short-term plans as a way to bypass the ACA protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
It would restore funding for outreach and enrollment cut by the Trump Administration.
These are welcome and urgently needed improvements to the ACA that will greatly benefit those purchasing in the individual market. They do not however slow the rise in health care prices which is making health care and coverage ever less affordable for all Americans.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/26/18282103/aca-obamacare-news-house-democrats-legislation-doj and https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-27/centene-wellcare-deal-17-billion-bet-on-obamacar