After Leading Push in Senate Against Harmful Trump-Era Policy, Shaheen Applauds CMS Decision to Adopt Rules to Lower Health Care Costs

April 30, 2021

**Shaheen led effort in Senate to reverse Trump-era guidance that spiked out-of-pocket costs and reduced eligibility for ACA tax credits**

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) lauded the reversal of a damaging Trump policy – one which she led the Congressional effort against – that increased out-of-pocket health care costs for millions of Americans and reduced eligibility for premium tax credits through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will reinstate the index factor established under the Obama administration, meaning lower maximum out-of-pocket costs by $400 for families and $200 for individuals.

Senator Shaheen repeatedly led the push in the Senate to reverse the Trump administration’s sabotage of the Obama-era policy that expanded eligibility for ACA premium tax credits and brought down out-of-pocket costs for families.

“Strengthening access to and affordability of health care has never been more important as we recover from this public health crisis,” said Shaheen. “After years in the Senate working to safeguard the ACA from sabotage efforts, I’m pleased CMS announced it will rescind this Trump-era rule that spiked out-of-pocket costs and reduced eligibility for tax credits that make health care more affordable. I’ll continue working with lawmakers and the Biden administration to strengthen the ACA and ensure working families across New Hampshire have access to the care they deserve.” 

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to protect and improve the ACA. Shaheen successfully included in the American Rescue Plan premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation, the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act, which will expand coverage to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured and reduce health care costs for millions of additional individuals who already have coverage, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates indicate Shaheen’s provision will lead to a more than 37 percent reduction in monthly premium costs, on average. President Biden’s new American Families Plan would make Shaheen’s premium tax credit enhancements permanent. Her bill is also projected to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for consumers by 61 percent on average, through reductions in deductibles and co-pays. Senator Shaheen also spearheaded Senate Democrats’ proposal to make health care affordable and accessible for Americans during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Shaheen led all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would reverse the Department of Justice’s decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that would strike down the health care law. This health care sabotage could result in 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, millions more Americans without health insurance, soaring prescription drug costs for seniors and nearly 90,000 Granite Staters losing health care coverage. She introduced the Marketing and Outreach Restoration to Empower (MORE) Health Education Act of 2019 with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) to counteract the Trump administration’s sabotage efforts that slashed funding for health care enrollment advertising and marketing by 90 percent after Donald Trump took office. Senators Shaheen, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Warner (D-VA) called on the last administration to do more to prevent third-party web brokers from steering individuals toward junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage of pre-existing conditions or essential health benefits.  

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