As Department of Justice Refuses to Defend Affordable Care Act in Court, Schakowsky, alongside Senators Whitehouse and Brown, Introduces Public Option for the Affordable Care Act

As Department of Justice Refuses to Defend Affordable Care Act in Court, Schakowsky, alongside Senators Whitehouse and Brown, Introduces Public Option for the Affordable Care Act

Legislation would promote competition in ACA marketplaces and provide Americans with a quality, affordable option; maintain coverage for 20 million Americans

Washington, D.C. – As the Trump Administration goes through the courts to try to tear down a law that has extended health insurance coverage to over 20 million Americans, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) reintroduced H.R. 2085, the Consumer Health Options and Insurance Competition Enhancement (CHOICE) Act, alongside Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). This bicameral legislation would add a public health insurance option to the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplaces. The measure is intended to guarantee American consumers have access to an affordable, high quality plan in every health insurance market in the country.

“I have advocated for a public option since I helped to write the Affordable Care Act in the 111th Congress, and I’m proud to reintroduce the CHOICE Act today with Senators Whitehouse and Brown. This bill builds on the solid foundation created by the ACA instead of tearing it down, as Republicans have aimed to do through their actions over the past week,” said Schakowsky, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Adding a public option just makes sense. It means more choice for individuals, families, and small businesses; lower premiums; and greater access to the ACA’s benefits and protections. That is why a majority of Americans support a public option.  Who opposes it? Insurance companies who care more about profits than individual health care costs and operate in many markets with little or even no competition.”

“Republicans are actively working through the court system to take health insurance away from 20 million Americans, after failing to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act in Congress,” said Senator Whitehouse.  Whitehouse co-authored public option legislation during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act.  “Rather than throw out a system that is working well in Rhode Island and places across the country, we’re proposing simple fixes to increase competition and bring down costs.  A public option ensures everyone has access to quality, affordable health insurance, and builds on the gains we’ve made.”

“Instead of ripping coverage away from people the way President Trump’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act would do, we should be working to expand healthcare for everyone. This bill would give people the choice to join a Medicare-like plan if they want, and it would help lower costs for everyone by increasing competition in the market,” said Senator Brown.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) set up health insurance marketplaces to make it easier for consumers to shop for health insurance and to drive insurers to compete on the price and quality of their plans.  The ACA marketplaces have been extremely effective in helping to expand coverage—the rate of uninsured Americans has fallen from 16.3 percent in 2010 to approximately 8.8 percent now—but some areas of the country do not have enough insurers to stimulate the necessary competition to drive down prices as the law’s drafters intended.

The CHOICE Act would create a public option subject to all the same requirements that apply to other plans offered on ACA exchanges. It would offer the same tax credits available to individual marketplace consumers as well as enhanced, comprehensive benefits.

Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Raúl Grijalva, Doris Matsui, John Yarmuth, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Adam Schiff, John Garamendi, Mike Quigley, Gwen Moore, and Steve Cohen also joined Congresswoman Schakowsky in reintroducing the CHOICE Act in the House.

Last week, the Trump Administration filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit calling for the federal courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.



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    repName Jan Schakowsky  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago Office
    5533 N. Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60640
    district 9th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
    repStateABBR IL  
    repDistrict 9  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 9th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills