AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ESTABLISHES NATIONAL VACCINE PROGRAM, PROTECTS AND EXPANDS ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE ACROSS COUNTRY

March 18, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) released additional information on how the American Rescue Plan Act will help defeat COVID-19 by establishing a national vaccine program and protecting and expanding access to quality health care amid the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act includes more than $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program, extend subsidies making health care through the marketplace more affordable, cover premiums through COBRA for workers who lost employer-sponsored coverage, and more.

“The challenges of the past year have been compounded by a lack of strategic planning and action and failure to appropriately support national testing capacity, PPE production and distribution, and address the public health crisis at hand,” said Congresswoman Hayes. “The American Rescue Plan provides critical funding where we need it most: to help communities, workplaces and health care facilities continue testing and treatment efforts, and to help get shots in the arms of over 300 million Americans. The magnitude of this challenge demands unprecedented action. The billions of dollars directed towards COVID-19 prevention and treatment in the American Rescue Plan will help to bring lifesaving vaccines to Connecticut and will help our state to reopen and get back to work.”

Among its many provisions, the American Rescue Plan Act will:

Deliver COVID-19 Vaccinations and Protect Public Health

  • Commits $20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program and improve the administration and distribution of vaccinations nationwide, including $7.5 billion for the CDC to prepare, monitor, and track COVID-19 vaccines and $7.5 billion for FEMA to establish vaccination sites across the country.
  • Provides $51 billion to implement a national strategy for testing, contact tracing, and mitigation; this includes manufacturing, procurement, distribution, and administration of tests, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary for test administration.
  • Funds the Defense Production Act to expand and expedite the national production of supplies and vaccines to fulfill U.S. public health needs, including $10 billion to boost domestic production of PPE, vaccines, and rapid tests.

Expand Access to Quality Healthcare through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace

  • Includes the House’s provision to increase Premium Tax Credits for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange health plans for two years. It will also extend ACA subsidies to those who do not currently qualify, eliminating the 400% Federal Poverty Line cliff.
  • Under the American Rescue Plan Act, families of four:
    • Earning an annual income of $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 annually.
    • Earning an annual income of $65,000 would save $2,800 annually.
    • Earning an annual income of $100,000, who previously did not qualify for premium subsidies, would save $7,000 annually.
  • Guarantees Americans of all income levels purchasing health insurance through the ACA Marketplaces would spend no more than 8.5% of their income on coverage.
  • Under the American Rescue Plan Act, individuals:
    • Who received federal Unemployment Insurance in 2021 will gain the highest possible premium tax credit regardless of their income that year.
    • Who earned fluctuating incomes in 2020 will be held harmless if they received subsidies.

Protect Health Care for Americans Who Lost Jobs, or Lost Employer-Sponsored Care

  • Expands COBRA eligibility to those who have lost their jobs or have reduced hours by making them eligible for 100% subsidy for COBRA employer-sponsored health benefits; this ensures individuals remain covered through employer-sponsored plans without having to pay anything. The COBRA subsidy increase is available through September 30, 2021.
  • Allows individuals who declined COBRA at the time they lost their job, or canceled COBRA coverage, to still sign up and receive the 100% subsidy for the duration of their coverage period.

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Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.

 

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