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“Allowing Costs to Go Up Is Not Acceptable”: Majority Leader Hoyer and Rep. Underwood Joined Protect Our Care to Discuss Dire Need for Congress to Prevent Health Care Premium Hikes

By June 23, 2022No Comments

Listen to the Call Here.

Washington, DC — Today, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD-05) and Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) joined Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the urgent need for Congress to prevent the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits from expiring. Along with Dr. Jessica Ice, a patient storyteller from West Virginia, speakers laid out the case for why it’s critical to keep premiums low for working families in the face of inflation and rising costs.

The event comes as health care activists, advocacy groups and concerned citizens across the country engage in Protect Our Care’s day of action calling on Congress to act urgently to extend the American Rescue Plan’s tax credits. Watch Protect Our Care’s new video featuring patients who depend on the tax credits here

“When Democrats enacted the American Rescue Plan, we expanded premium tax credit eligibility and brought down premiums for those already receiving subsidies. This led to a record 14.5 million Americans signing up for marketplace coverage. When Senators reach an agreement on a path forward for reconciliation, it must include extending these tax credits,” said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. “Inflation is causing great shock at the pumps and in grocery stores — we must not let the costs of health care go up as well. We cannot miss this chance to bring down health care costs and provide affordable, accessible health care coverage for so many.” 

“Fundamentally, health care is a human right, and we can’t afford to backslide on the progress we’ve made on health care affordability,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. “My provision in the American Rescue Plan provided tax credits to lower premium costs for two years – which means that this affordability expansion is set to expire at the end of this year. It is time for the Senate to join us in delivering on this promise to the American people and ensure everyone has access to affordable, high-quality health coverage.”

“I’m not just an advocate for my job. For me personally, my premiums went from $800 a month to under $600 because of the enhanced premium tax credits that came with the American Rescue Plan. For my family, this translates into money for food, utilities, and frankly, money for other health care that we need,” said Dr. Jessica Ice, Executive Director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and patient storyteller from West Virginia. “If we do not continue these enhanced premium tax credits, the data shows us there will be big financial hits for West Virginia families and families across the nation.” 

“Lowering health care costs is a clear way to ease the burden on working families struggling with inflation,” said Protect Our Care Communications Director Anne Shoup. “If Congress fails to extend the American Rescue Plan’s tax credits, millions could pay thousands more on their health insurance premiums, and as many as three million people are at-risk of losing coverage altogether. We can’t let that happen.”