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HEADLINES: Democrats’ Bill to Improve and Strengthen Health Care Passes House While Trump and Republicans Double Down on Terminating the ACA

By June 30, 2020No Comments

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act” a landmark bill introduced and championed by House Democrats to improve health care for Americans by building on key provisions in the Affordable Care Act. News coverage quickly pointed out that House Democrats kept their 2018 campaign promise to protect and build on the ACA just days after the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general filed briefs in support of California v. Texas, their lawsuit to overturn the ACA, rip health care from 23 million people and strip protections from 135 million people with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. 


Washington Post: House Democrats Push Through First Bill in A Decade Expanding Affordable Care Act

The Hill: House Fires Back at Trump by Passing ObamaCare Expansion

Politico: House Democrats Approve Health Bill, Seeking Contrast with Trump’s Obamacare Assault

Associated Press: Dems Push Campaign-Season Health Care Bill Through House

Extended coverage of the House’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:

Washington Post: House Democrats Push Through First Bill in A Decade Expanding Affordable Care Act. “The House Monday passed the first significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its birth a decade ago, providing Democrats a high-wattage platform to castigate President Trump for his efforts to overturn the landmark law during a pandemic and an election year…the vote was laden with political implications. Less than five months before presidential and congressional elections, it forced Republicans to go on the record about the ACA and showed anew the parties’ highly charged ideological differences on health care — an issue that consistently polls as a prime concern among U.S. voters. Democrats portrayed themselves as champions of access to affordable care at a critical time.” [Washington Post, 6/29/20]

Politico: House Democrats Approve Health Bill, Seeking Contrast with Trump’s Obamacare Assault. “House Democrats on Monday approved a major expansion of Obamacare, underscoring the health care law’s central role in their campaign pitch and drawing sharp contrast with President Donald Trump’s efforts to eliminate the entire law…Democrats believe their defense of Obamacare — in particular, the law’s insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions — will again boost their electoral prospects. The bill approved Monday also targets the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans, which often exclude coverage of preexisting conditions.” [Politico, 6/29/20]

New York Times: House Votes to Limit Health Costs as Drug Maker Adds Price Tag to Virus Treatment. “House Democrats, moving to sharpen the distinction between themselves and Republicans as the coronavirus pandemic rages, passed legislation on Monday that would ensure that Americans paid no more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance and would allow the government to negotiate prices with drug makers…Democrats — who reclaimed the House majority in 2018 on a promise to lower health costs and expand access — intend to use it to reprise that playbook in November. The bill, unveiled last week, would expand the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, just as the Trump administration and Republican state attorneys general are asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 10-year-old law.” [New York Times, 6/29/20]

The Hill: House Fires Back at Trump by Passing ObamaCare Expansion. “Democrats timed the vote to contrast with the Trump administration’s legal brief filed with the Supreme Court last week calling for the ACA to be struck down, a move Democrats said would be even more harmful during the coronavirus pandemic…Defending the ACA was a key strategy used by Democrats in 2018, when they won back the House. The party is returning to the same playbook for the 2020 elections as it attempts to win back the White House and Senate as well.” [The Hill, 6/29/20]

Bloomberg Law: House Passes Obamacare Upgrades to Bolster Democratic Campaigns. “Legislation to boost Obamacare subsidies and direct the government to demand lower prices on certain drugs won House passage Monday, in an election-year reprise of earlier votes that Democratic leaders engineered to highlight differences with the Republican-controlled Senate and the Trump administration. The bill (H.R. 1425) would expand the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits, pressure states to expand Medicaid programs with the promise of more federal funds, and cap what any person may pay for coverage premiums at 8.5% of income. It would also let immigrants living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program get access to subsidized insurance plans…Democratic leaders said they’re making good on a 2018 campaign promise to protect the Affordable Care Act.” [Bloomberg Law, 6/29/20]

Modern Healthcare: House Passes Tweaks to Shore Up ACA, Lower Premiums. “House Democrats on Monday passed a bill that would bolster the Affordable Care Act by hiking premium subsidies and incentivizing states to expand Medicaid…House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Republicans’ lack of a detailed alternative healthcare plan if the ACA is struck down…House Democrats’ proposal also targets the Trump administration’s healthcare agenda, and would rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding short-term, limited-duration insurance plans and revoke guidance on 1332 waivers.” [Modern Healthcare, 6/29/20]

Associated Press: Dems Push Campaign-Season Health Care Bill Through House. “Democrats pushed a package expanding ‘Obamacare’ coverage through the House on Monday, a measure that’s doomed to advance no further but spotlights how the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump’s efforts to obliterate that law have fortified health care’s potency as a 2020 campaign issue…Democrats used Trump’s and the GOP’s failed 2017 efforts to erase Obama’s law as their chief issue in the 2018 elections, helping them capture House control by gaining 40 seats. They’ve talked ever since about reprising that theme in this year’s campaigns by focusing on curbing drug and health care costs and saying Republicans want to dismantle the Obama law’s patient protections…Democrats criticized Republicans for repeatedly claiming that after repealing Obama’s law they would pass legislation protecting patients, though they’ve never presented a viable replacement package.” [Associated Press, 6/29/20]

The Fiscal Times: House Dems Pass Obamacare Expansion, Seeking to Draw Contrast With Trump. “The Democratic-led House on Monday passed a bill to bolster Obamacare — and ramp up the political pressure on President Trump on the issue of health care as coronavirus cases surge across many U.S. states…the legislation gives Democrats another chance to attack Trump’s record on health care — an issue they hope to make central to this election much as they did in 2018, and it does so days after the administration filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare in its entirety, including the law’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Overturning the health care law would take away health insurance coverage from about 20 million people. The administration’s support for the legal challenge to the law has sparked strong condemnation from Democrats and criticism from some Republicans concerned that their party is once again being tied to the elimination of Obamacare, especially as Covid-19 case counts continue to rise.” [The Fiscal Times, 6/29/20] House Votes to Strengthen Obamacare, Issue That Helped N.J. Democrats in Last Election. “Health care was the No. 1 issue two years ago…The House on Monday returned to that issue as lawmakers voted largely along party lines, 234-179, to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, even as President Donald Trump renewed his plea to the Supreme Court to kill it and threatened to veto this legislation…Trump and several Republican-run states have asked the Supreme Court to throw out the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for those with pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Medicaid, and the subsidies that make insurance affordable.New Jersey is one of the states that have asked the Supreme Court to uphold the law.” [, 6/29/20]