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Dr. Ruiz Votes Yes as House Passes Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act

June 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) took bold action to build on the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs and prescription drug prices by voting to pass H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. His vote comes days after the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the ACA.

“It is precisely now, as millions of Americans are sick and millions more are unemployed, that we must work to strengthen and expand access to health care,” said Dr. Ruiz. “That's why today I voted for H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, to lower health care premiums, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and strengthen protections for pre-existing conditions – the same conditions like asthma and diabetes that render a person more likely to die from COVID-19.”

Rep. Ruiz on House Floor

Click to watch Rep. Ruiz advocate for H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care enhancement Act.

The bill significantly increases the ACA’s affordability subsidies to be more generous and cover more middle-class families.  For the first time, no person will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more:

The bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate for Medicare so that seniors no longer have to pay more for our medicines than Big Pharma charges for the same drugs overseas.  According to a new report from Patients for Affordable Drugs, from January to June, 245 drugs were subject to an average price increase of more than 20 percent.  Of these drugs with price hikes, more than 75 percent directly relate to the COVID-19 crisis, including 30 drugs that are currently in clinical trials for their effect against the virus.

The bill expands coverage, pressing Medicaid expansion hold-out states with incentives to adopt coverage for the 4.8 million Americans cruelly excluded from coverage, while restoring the outreach and advertising funding that the Trump Administration has slashed to prevent Americans from learning about the affordable health coverage available to them under the ACA.

The bill combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, expanding more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and fighting the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.

The bill cracks down on junk plans & strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, reversing the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and drugs and that are allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

A fact sheet on the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act is available here.