Democrats pressure party leaders to defuse ACA subsidy time bomb by election

June 22, 2022

With inflation already causing difficulties for hard working Americans, Congressman Peters knows we need to ensure healthcare costs do not spike. He joined his New Democrat Coalition colleagues in a letter to urge a vote to extend Affordable Care Act subsidies and avoid loss of coverage.

Learn more about in this June 13th op-ed piece in NBC News, posted below:

Democrats pressure party leaders to defuse ACA subsidy time bomb by election

By Sahil Kapur

June 13, 2022

Fifty-seven House Democrats are pressuring party leaders to act quickly to avert a sharp hike in health insurance premiums that threaten to hit many Americans in October, just ahead of the midterm elections.

letter written by leaders of the moderate New Democrat Coalition and signed by numerous lawmakers in competitive races this fall aims to push Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to unify his 50-member caucus around a filibuster-proof bill that extends a set of enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies, which passed in the 2021 American Rescue Plan and expire after this year.

“Without Congressional action this fall to extend the advanced premium tax credits, millions of Americans face the prospect of losing health care coverage or seeing their premiums spike,” the lawmakers wrote, which is signed by Reps. Cindy Axne of Iowa; Kim Schrier of Washington; Tom Malinowski of New Jersey; and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, and others in some of the toughest contests this year.

“With prices rising broadly, our constituents cannot afford these increased health insurance costs. This cannot happen on our watch,” the Democrats said in the letter, first reported by NBC News and sent Monday evening to the offices of Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 3 million people are projected to lose their coverage if the subsidies aren’t extended. An additional 9.4 million would see their premiums go up due to an automatic reduction in funding set to take effect next year, which consumers are poised to be notified of this fall.

With inflation already causing hardships, failure to prevent those hikes would be a “double-whammy” for middle-class Americans in the health care marketplaces, said Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“This would be a big hit to family budgets for ACA enrollees, and a big hit politically to Democrats, who count the ACA as one of their biggest domestic achievements in decades,” Levitt said in an email. “Notices of premium increases would come right before the midterm elections, so the timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats if they fail to pass a subsidy extension.”

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