Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes voted to pass the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act, legislation which would build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to lower health costs and prescription drug prices in CT-05. Today’s vote comes days after the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the ACA.

“In the midst of a pandemic, access to quality, affordable health care is more important than ever,” said Rep. Hayes.  “I have been fighting tirelessly to expand coverage for my constituents.  Today’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act helps to deliver the lower health costs and prescription drug prices that people in Connecticut need.” 

The bill significantly increases the ACA’s affordability subsidies to be more generous and cover more families.  For the first time, no person will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more:

  • A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year.
  • A 64-year-old earning $57,420 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
  • A single adult with income of $31,900 would see premiums cut in half.
  • An adult earning $19,140 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year.

The bill negotiates for lower prescription drug prices, delivering the power to negotiate so that people in Connecticut no longer have to pay more than people pay for the same drugs overseas.  According to a new report from Patients for Affordable Drugs, from January to June, 245 drugs were subject to an average price increase of more than 20 percent.  More than 75 percent of increased drug prices directly relate to the COVID-19 crisis, including 30 drugs that are currently in clinical trials for their effect against the virus.

The bill expands coverage, pressing Medicaid expansion hold-out states with new incentives to adopt coverage for the 4.8 million Americans excluded from coverage. The bill also restores the outreach and advertising funding for the affordable health coverage.

The bill combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, expanding more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and fighting the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.

The bill cracks down on junk plans & strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, helping to ensure that health plans contain essential medical treatments and drugs and are not allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

“I made a promise to lower the cost of health care for families in CT-05,” continued Congresswoman Hayes.  “I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this critical legislation to fulfill that promise.  As we combat the growing coronavirus crisis, I ask the Administration to cease its lawsuit to eliminate the ACA. At this critical juncture, it is imperative that elected officials work together to ensure all Americans have access to the quality, affordable care they need to stay healthy and safe.”

A fact sheet on the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act is available here.

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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.

Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.