September 15, 2021

New Democrat Coalition Secures Key Middle-Class Health Care Wins in Reconciliation Bill

Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) secured key provisions in the proposed reconciliation legislation to build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by expanding health coverage to the uninsured and underserved middle-class Americans. The legislation contains two NDC policies to make permanent the increased individual market premium subsidies and fill the coverage gap in non-Medicaid expansion states. 

“The New Democrat Coalition’s number one health care priority in reconciliation is to finish the job on the Affordable Care Act. This means permanently extending the American Rescue Plan premium subsidies and closing the Medicaid coverage gap in states that have not yet expanded under the ACA,” said NDC Chair Suzan DelBene (WA-01). “Securing these proven solutions in the draft legislation, New Democrats would have serious concerns with attempts to short change our commitment to finishing the job on the Affordable Care Act to fund other provisions in the bill. Now is the time to expand coverage to millions of uninsured middle-class Americans and make coverage more affordable for families.”

The enhanced subsidies in the American Rescue Plan reduced the cost of health care coverage for 9 million Americans and allowed an estimated nearly 2 million uninsured Americans to gain coverage in 2022. The ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision now covers 12 million Americans, but 4 million people remain in the coverage gap in the 12 states that have not yet expanded. 

This follows the NDC’s recent win of securing one of our top priorities in reconciliation, a pilot program for the NDC-endorsed RECOMPETE Act which will empower persistently distressed communities to rebuild using flexible economic development grants. The NDC’s other top priorities in reconciliation legislation include, extending the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) through at least 2025 and going big on climate by maximizing emissions reductions and decarbonization tools.

NDC has long advocated for building on the ACA to reach the goal of universal access to affordable coverage and care. Earlier this year, the NDC relaunched its Health Care Task Force for the 117th Congress and included protecting and expanding Americans’ access to health care in our 100 Day Agenda. The Coalition previously wrote to President Biden outlining its health care priorities to be included in the Build Back Better Agenda. These health care priorities join the NDC’s previously announced four key priorities for the Build Back Better Act.