June 18, 2019

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Legislation to Combat Surging Premiums, Expand Access to Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) cosponsored legislation that would make health care more affordable and expand access to critical medical services. Introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act increases the value of tax credits for families who are currently eligible for federal assistance, which helps offset the costs of monthly insurance premiums and expands eligibility for premium tax credits to include more middle-income families.

“The number one concern I hear from Nevadans is that affordable, quality health care is out of reach. Republicans and this Administration have made it their mission to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, stripping coverage from hardworking families in Nevada and across America and actively undermining crucial preexisting conditions protections. Rather than working with Democrats, Republican leaders have blocked every piece of legislation to shore up, improve upon and expand access to health care. I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that lowers premiums and expands access to health care for hardworking families.”

In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Shaheen, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also cosponsored this bill.

BACKGROUND:

The Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act would lower premiums for middle-class families and strengthen the individual market by increasing the value of tax credits for eligible families. The bill also expands eligibility for these tax credits from enrollees who make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line up to enrollees who make 800 percent of the federal poverty line. This change will have the effect of smoothing the current “subsidy cliff” that penalizes families making too much to qualify for subsidies under the current rules, but not enough for their insurance to be considered affordable. A recent analysis suggests that in addition to making health care more affordable, these changes could grow enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces by millions of consumers and reduce premiums for those currently enrolled in the coming years. 

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