Relief Package Must Make Health Care More Accessible to Low- and Middle-Income People

FEBRUARY 16, 2021



Relief Package Must Make Health Care More Accessible to Low- and Middle-Income People


WASHINGTON, D.C. — With millions of people poised to benefit, Congress must follow the lead of health care champions Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and include expanded Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion incentives in the COVID relief package.


Underwood’s proposal to broaden eligibility for ACA premium subsidies is crucial to our country’s recovery. The provision, which caps insurance premiums at 8.5 percent regardless of income level, will help countless middle-income families access quality health care through the ACA marketplace.


Warnock has also been hard at work to deliver on campaign promises of improving health care for low-income Americans. He led the charge in the Senate to add a provision for waivers that incentivize states to expand Medicaid, which has been included in the House Energy and Commerce Committee markup. The E&C markup also includes a provision to get rid of the limit on state-based Medicaid drug rebates from manufacturers, another win for lowering health care costs across the board.


Health Care Voter Co-Chair Laura Packard released the following statement:

“Over the last decade, too many people have fallen through the cracks of our broken health care system. Republican extremists in Congress and the states have blocked proposals several times to expand health care to many more Americans. Patching the holes in our system to expand coverage to people who have been left behind by Republicans’ austerity agenda is not just the right thing to do—it’s necessary to jumpstart our economy. With these proposed measures in place, this COVID relief package will uplift low- and middle- income people by making quality, affordable health care accessible.
President Biden has already taken the first step by opening a special enrollment period for millions of eligible Americans to sign up for free or low cost health insurance plans through Rep. Underwood, Sen. Warnock, and Pres. Biden know what’s at stake when it comes to making health care more affordable for middle class and struggling Americans. The House and Senate must follow their lead, and must not miss this moment.”

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