Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Advancement Act. Also referred to as the ACA 2.0, the bill aims to strengthen the current law through provisions such as making coverage more affordable; investing in consumer outreach, education and enrollment; creating incentives to expand Medicaid for the 14 states who have yet to do so; expanding Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months; negotiating lower prescription drug prices and restoring Medicaid coverage for select migrant individuals lawfully residing in the United States.
This bill serves as a promising starting point to shore up the ACA and meaningfully strengthen and increase access to comprehensive affordable health care during a global health crisis. It also is a stark reminder that the current administration is actively trying to do the exact opposite by consistently undermining existing protections and advances in ensuring Americans have health care.
ACA 2.0 was introduced at nearly the same time opponents of the ACA filed briefings with the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in their ongoing attempt to repeal the law and strip care from over 23 million individuals and families, which is even more dangerous now that we are in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis. It also comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releasing their final rule amending the civil rights provision of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), effectively rolling back federal protection from discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, individuals living with HIV, non-English speakers, and women.
Protect Our Care Illinois remains disappointed, sickened, and repulsed by this administration’s incessant attempts to decimate the health of our communities, particularly Black and Brown communities. This is even more concerning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities. Instead of pursuing a lawsuit designed to take health care away from people who need it, the Administration should be, at the very least, opening ACA Marketplaces so people can enroll in coverage today.
We will continue to defend the ACA and commit to work that increases truly equitable access to care and comprehensive services for every single Illinoisan.