Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-5) voted to pass H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, a major piece of legislation that addresses two top concerns of the American people, lowering prescription drug prices and defending vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 


As part of consideration of this bill, Congresswoman Hayes passed an amendment to authorize $25 million dollars for navigator programs within state-based health care exchanges, like Connecticut. Congresswoman Hayes spoke on the floor about the amendment and her remarks can be viewed here.


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Navigators raise awareness about available health care plans, educate consumers about available premium tax credits, and provide technical enrollment assistance to consumers looking to buy health insurance. They are a vital part of the blueprint to increase health care coverage for all Americans, and secure the promise of affordable health care for everyone. The Hayes amendment will help Access Health CT enroll more Connecticut residents, especially those from underserved communities, in health care plans.


“My background in education makes it hard for me to understand why we would ever want to eliminate tools that help educate the public about how to access health care. It is even harder for me to understand why we would want to limit this critical funding just to states that operate on the federal marketplace,” said Congresswoman Hayes. 


“Residents in states like California, New York, Minnesota and Connecticut deserve to have the same opportunity as people throughout the rest of the country to learn about their health care options, to learn how to sign up for coverage, and to learn how their coverage will work. There has never been a greater need to shore up programs that make certain working Americans, especially underserved populations, are protected and insured. That people in all communities know what their options are, and know when and how to access these benefits.”


The Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act would defend critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions and would make skyrocketing drug prices more affordable for everyday Americans. The bipartisan package helps lower-priced generic drugs get to market faster, and would then invest most of these savings back into the health care system, increasing enrollment in quality coverage and helping states set up their own marketplaces.


This bill now goes to the United States Senate for consideration.