Congressman Eliot Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, cosigned a letter with close to 90 House Democrats calling on Speaker Ryan to take up key reforms to help improve the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual markets and expand options for consumers.
The four reforms, devised by Democrats, include reauthorizing and making permanent federal reinsurance programs; ensuring funding for the cost-sharing reduction payments – which President Trump has threatened to cut off – that help millions of American families purchase affordable health insurance; expanding premium assistance to bring down costs; and affording retirement-age Americans the option to buy into Medicare.
“Democrats have long said that, while the ACA has done a wealth of good for the American health care system, it is not perfect. But just because something isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it needs to be scrapped entirely. You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Congressman Engel said. “Every major piece of legislation, including Medicare and Social Security, has required tweaking after its initial passage to make the law work better. The ACA is no different. But, instead of working with Democrats to build on the ACA’s progress, Republicans have clung to their political crusade against the law. They have worked to sabotage the ACA at every turn, and made a mockery of the legislative process as they rushed to pass bills that would steal health care away from millions. It is time for the GOP to move on from the disaster that was Trumpcare and get down to the business of actually governing.
“Democrats have real ideas on how to restore certainty to insurance markets, bring down costs, and expand consumer choices. Now, we must come together in a bipartisan way to make those ideas a reality. I urge my Republican colleagues to carefully consider our proposals, so we can meaningfully improve the health and lives of our constituents.”