Sarbanes Cosponsors Bill to Make Health Care More Affordable

Legislation Would Lower Health Care Premiums and Stop the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Sabotage the ACA
March 13, 2018
CONTACT: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today cosponsored the Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018 (H.R. 5155), a bill that would improve the health insurance marketplace, lower health care premiums and reverse the Trump Administration’s attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The legislation would lower health care costs for consumers by eliminating the cap on eligibility for premium tax credits and increasing the tax credit size for all income brackets. The bill would also provide additional support for out-of-pocket costs and make cost-sharing subsidies more generous for those below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. In October 2017, President Trump decided to default on cost-sharing subsidies that help more than seven million hardworking Americans pay for out-of-pocket health care costs.

“The Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress have spent the last year undermining the Affordable Care Act and raising health care costs for millions of hardworking Americans,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “I’m proud to support new and comprehensive legislation that would strengthen our nation's health care system, reduce costs for consumers, improve access to care and undo some of the most harmful Trump Administration policies that sabotage the ACA.”

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Prevent the expansion of Association Health Plans from going into effect. These bare-bones plans are not required to include protections for people with pre-existing conditions or the Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) package.
  • Prevent the Trump Administration from moving forward on a proposed rule that would allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions by offering junk plans that provide limited benefits and little financial protection from health care costs. The legislation would require these short-term limited duration health plans to play by the same rules as ACA-compliant plans.
  • Prevent the Trump Administration from weakening protections for EHBs, which would leave consumers with weaker health plans that may not cover critical services, such as prescription drugs, maternity care and substance use disorder treatment.
  • Restore marketing and outreach funds that were cut by 90 percent during the 2018 ACA open enrollment period and create a state innovation fund to empower states to implement new approaches to increasing enrollment. 
  • Create a national reinsurance program to help stabilize the market and alleviate potential premium increases resulting from ACA sabotage.

For more information about the Undo Sabotage and Expand Affordability of Health Insurance Act of 2018, see here.