May 17, 2019

House Passes New Democrat Coalition-Supported Legislation Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R.987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. NDC is committed to strengthening the ACA, and this package of bills will not only strengthen the ACA but also fight efforts to undermine the ACA and look for ways to make the ACA work better for all Americans.

Included in this package are New Dem-led bills to strengthen the ACA. The bills included in this package are:

  • H.R. 1386 ENROLL Act of 2019 with lead co-sponsors Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) and Charlie Crist (FL-13). This provision restores funding to the Navigator program, which provides critical assistance to families and communities in hard-to-reach and underserved communities and helps enroll them in affordable coverage.
  • H.R. 987 MORE Health Education Act led by Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) and Lucy McBath (GA-06). This bill would restore outreach and enrollment funding to assist consumers in signing up for health care, which has been slashed by the Trump Administration by 90% since entering office.
  • H.R. 1010, Rescinding Trump Administration’s Final Rule Promoting Junk Insurance Plans with lead co-sponsor Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04). This provision rescinds the Trump Administration’s expansion of short-term, limited duration health plans. These plans discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, leave consumers with massive surprise bills, and increase costs for everyone by destabilizing the insurance markets.

Yesterday's package also includes important bills to help lower drug prices. These provisions would allow generic drugs to enter the market earlier; would accelerate the availability of lower-priced generic or biosimilar drugs; and reduce the average price of drugs paid by federal health programs that purchase drugs or provide health insurance that covers drugs. NDC formally endorsed:

Rep. Kilmer added:

“Millions of Americans, including folks all across our region, are struggling to keep up with the increasing costs of health care and prescription drugs. In the greatest nation in the world, families shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for medication or other critical health care services. This New Dem-led legislation is a step in the right direction towards making health care more affordable, protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and lowering prescription drug costs.” 

Last week, the House passed H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019. This legislation, led by NDC Vice Chair for Communications Annie Kuster and co-sponsored by Rep. Don Beyer, would revoke Section 1332 guidance released by the Trump Administration in October of 2018, which weakened protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. This comes after the New Dems urged House leaders to prioritize strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continue the path toward affordable universal coverage. We have been encouraged by Democratic Leadership’s steps to undo the sabotage done to the ACA, and look forward to building on this work through the legislative progress of our Members.