Washington, DC – Today, in response to a letter sent by New Democrat Coalition Members, House Leadership introduced legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions and lower health care costs. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Pallone, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Scott, and New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Angie Craig formally introduced the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 at a press conference today.

“In my conversations with hardworking families, the number one issue they want to tackle is healthcare - because they are experiencing the heart of the problem: if healthcare isn’t affordable, it isn’t accessible. That’s why I’ve been leading efforts to lower the cost of health insurance premiums through the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act and am grateful it has been incorporated into the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019, which we are introducing today to protect people with pre-existing conditions from unfair treatment and lower the cost of healthcare,” said Congresswoman Angie Craig.

Congressman Kurt Schrader said: “One refrain I hear constantly from my constituents at home is that something needs to be done today on health care. While the Affordable Care Act was an unqualified success for millions across the country, the individual marketplace and small business groups are still seeing higher premiums and deductibles. There is a slate of actions that already have bipartisan support that we can work on now to stabilize the individual marketplace and strengthen the Affordable Care Act. I look forward to continuing to prioritize that work with my colleagues in this Congress.”

“The Affordable Care Act set the groundwork for millions of Americans to have access to better, more affordable health care. Attempts to dismantle the ACA and threats of taking away care for people like me and so many of my patients with pre-existing conditions has led to uncertainty and an unstable market,” said Congresswoman Kim Schrier. “I am proud to be an original sponsor of the House bill being introduced today that will stabilize health care markets and shore up protections for people with pre-existing conditions. As a doctor, I know that families are very concerned about health care costs. This bill will make a meaningful cost savings for American families. It’s long overdue.”
"Too many Arizonans are paying too much for health insurance and waiting too long to access the care their families need. We're taking action today with this major legislation, which will protect patients with pre-existing conditions and take new steps to lower premium costs," said Congressman Greg Stanton. "It’s time to work together to build a health care system that works for everyone."

Earlier this month, NDC Members sent a letter urging the Committees of jurisdiction to prioritize strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continue the path toward affordable universal coverage. 

Specifically, NDC urged the Committees of jurisdiction to work to stabilize the individual health care marketplace; reverse Republican sabotage of the ACA; bring down health care costs for consumers; create a dedicated reinsurance program; create state innovation grants; and provide additional premium assistance. This bill is a positive step forward to advance real solutions that can help reduce the cost of health care and the NDC looks forward to working with our colleagues on both side of the aisle to consider it.

Last Congress the NDC Health Care Task Force released Solutions Over Politics: Stabilizing & Improving the Individual Market, which offered proposals to create a permanent reinsurance program, reduce healthcare costs for low-income Americans, promote greater insurance coverage, create a greater number of affordable insurance options, and improve the marketplaces.

The New Democrat Coalition, the largest ideological caucus of House Democrats, is comprised of 101 forward-thinking Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies.