O’Halleran Condemns Administration Attempt to Strike Down ACA

June 26, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, following reports that the Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a global public health crisis, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) released the following statement:

“Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans rely on the Affordable Care Act for their health care, and today the Arizona Department of Health Services reported 3,428 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, trending dangerously in the wrong direction,” said O’Halleran. “At a time when far too many families are struggling with both financial and health insecurity due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is unacceptable that this administration is attempting to cut existing care on which millions of Americans rely.

“Now is the time to work together to build up health infrastructure in our country, not tear it down. Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act—a legislative package I support that will shore up the Affordable Care Act and make health care more affordable by strengthening protections for people with pre-existing conditions and expanding access to the plans offered under the ACA. I look forward to voting in favor of this important bill.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:

  • makes health care and prescription drugs more affordable by empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and makes those prices available to Americans with private health insurance as well;
  • expands eligibility for premium tax credits beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty line and increases the size of tax credits for all income brackets;
  • encourages states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs to do so by renewing the ACA’s original expanded federal match;
    • if all states expanded Medicaid, about 4.8 million more Americans would be eligible for Medicaid, including an estimated 2.3 million people who are uninsured.
  • protects vulnerable populations from losing health coverage by ensuring that Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries receive a full 12 months of coverage once enrolled, protecting them from interruptions due to fluctuations in their income throughout the year;
  • and stops the expansion of junk insurance plans that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report on the Committee’s year-long investigation into Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI) health care plans. The investigation found that these misleading and underregulated “junk plans” put the health of consumers at risk and often left patients saddled with thousands of dollars in medical debt. The investigation also discovered that millions of Americans are enrolled in these plans and that this number continues to grow.

“I will not sit idly by and allow Arizona families to have the care they were promised stripped away as our nation struggles under this pandemic,” continued O’Halleran. “I am committed to working to strengthen our health care systems, lower the costs of prescription drugs, and ensure that families can access the quality, affordable care they need now more than ever.”