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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Co-Sponsors Legislation to Lower Health Premiums, Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions, and Outlaw Junk Insurance Plans

March 26, 2019
Press Release

The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act will Reverse Latest Health Care Sabotage 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) became an original cosponsor of the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Healthcare More Affordable Act, sweeping new legislation that will lower Connecticut residents’ health insurance premiums, crack down on junk health insurance plans, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and combat attempts to stifle enrollment in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  The bill was introduced following news from yesterday evening that the Trump Administration asked a federal court to strike down not only the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but every other part of the health law.

“Last night, in federal court, the Trump Administration argued for the elimination of the Affordable Care Act, and every benefit and protection that comes along with it – including protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Congressman Courtney. “People in eastern Connecticut do not want to turn the clock back on protection for patients with pre-existing conditions, but this latest attempt by the President to totally dismantle the Affordable Care Act would do that, and more. I have voted once already in this new 116th Congress to combat attempts to take protections away from folks with pre-existing conditions, because Congress has a responsibility to stand up for Americans and their health care. Introduction of this bill today is another step forward in that fight, and towards meeting our promise of lower health costs for the American people.”

The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 includes provisions that will:

Lower health insurance premiums with strengthened and expanded affordability assistance

  • Strengthening tax credits in the Marketplace to lower Americans’ health insurance premiums and allows more middle-class individuals and families to qualify for subsidies;
  • Ensuring that families who don’t have an offer of affordable coverage from an employer can still qualify for subsidies in the Marketplace; and,
  • Providing funding for reinsurance, to help with high cost claims, improve Marketplace stability, and prevent the Trump Administration’s sabotage from raising premiums.

Strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions

  • Curtailing the efforts to give states waivers to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions and weaken standards for essential health benefits, which would leave consumers with less comprehensive plans that do not cover needed services, such as prescription drugs, maternity care, and substance use disorder treatment.

Stop insurance companies from selling junk health insurance plans

  • Stopping efforts to push Americans into junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and drugs, and that are allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Reverse the GOP’s health care sabotage that has needlessly driven up premiums and uninsured rates, and empower states to innovate and invest in enrolling more people in affordable health coverage

  • Reversing efforts to stifle participation by requiring open enrollment outreach, education, and funding for navigators;
  • Investing in state efforts to conduct outreach to increase enrollment, educate consumers of their rights, and help individuals navigate the health insurance system;
  • Empowering states to implement new approaches to increasing enrollment and allows states to set up their own Marketplaces; and
  • Holding the Administration accountable for its use of federal dollars dedicated to increasing enrollment, outreach and running the federal exchange.

In January, Congressman Courtney voted in favor of a resolution to strengthen Congress’s position to intervene against the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit, which sought to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. The resolution passed the House of Representatives and affirmed the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene as a party in the Republican-led lawsuit, asserting the House of Representatives’ authority to defend laws it has passed and enacted into law. Click here to read the full press release.

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