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“We Can’t Pull The Rug Out From Under Families”: Reps. Welch and Underwood Urge Congressional Action to Prevent Health Premium Hikes

By May 24, 2022No Comments

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Washington, DC —Today U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) joined Protect Our Care to discuss the urgent need for Congress to extend the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits. This year, a record 14.5 million people signed up for coverage through the ACA marketplaces thanks in large part to the enhanced tax credits, which saved families hundreds of dollars on their monthly health care costs. Now, Democrats are fighting to extend these tax credits for working families to prevent premiums from skyrocketing at the end of this year. 

Just yesterday, Congresswoman Underwood led 26 Swing-District House Democratic Members in a letter urging Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer to prioritize lowering health care costs, including extending the enhanced advance premium tax credits and expanding Medicaid coverage in upcoming reconciliation legislation.

“My legislation has lowered annual premium costs by an average of $2,400 per family for Affordable Care Act plans, and a record 14.5 million Americans enrolled in coverage for this year. This is historic financial relief at a time when people need it the most. But if we don’t act now, to extend these savings, families will see sharp, unacceptable premium increases in 2023,” said Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14). “This provision already passed the House of Representatives in November, uniting our Democratic caucus around the shared conviction that every American deserves access to high quality, affordable health care. It is time for the Senate to join us and deliver on this promise to the American people.”

“If these subsidies go away, the price increases on health care will be brutal for families, brutal for employers, and brutal for our communities,” said Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL).  “We can’t pull the rug out from under families and allow huge increases to the cost of health care when families are struggling to afford other essentials, like groceries and gasoline. We have to maintain these essential subsidies and maintain the health care security Vermont’s families need.”  

“If we do not continue the advanced premium tax credits, there will be financial hits for West Virginia families and families across the nation,” said Jessica Ice, patient storyteller from West Virginia. “For me personally, I’m saving over $200 a month as a single mom of two young children. For my family, this translates into money for food, utilities, and, frankly, other health care costs that we have.” 

“The American Rescue Plan saved families thousands on their premiums, driving record enrollment and giving people more breathing room to pay for other necessities like food, child care, and rent,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “If Congress fails to act, millions of families will pay thousands more for health insurance in 2023, and millions will lose their coverage entirely. Open enrollment begins just a week before election day, and when people go to the polls these premium increases will be front and center.”