Shaheen Leads Group of Senators in Letter to Senate Leadership Urging Extension of ACA Subsidies
**The ACA subsidies were included in the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law last year, by Senator Shaheen and were based on her legislation to lower costs and expand access to health care for millions of Americans**
**Shaheen’s provision is the most significant improvement to the ACA since President Obama signed it into law**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen led a group of Senators today on a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), urging congressional leadership to prioritize making permanent the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) enhanced premium tax credits in upcoming reconciliation legislation, which are set to expire at the end of this year. Senator Shaheen worked to include premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law last year. These enhancements have lowered costs and expanded access to health care for millions of Americans.
The Senators wrote, in part, “Americans deserve a stable health care market that provides access to high-quality care coverage for all, and American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) enhanced premium tax credits must be extended to ensure that we can maintain our progress on closing the coverage gap. Failure to do so will leave millions with increased costs for vital health insurance, undoing Democrats’ progress in ensuring that every American has access to affordable, meaningful coverage.”
The lawmakers went on to underscore how critical 2022 has been for the ACA, with a record 14.5 million Americans signed up for Marketplace plans. Of those 14.5 million, 13 million Americans received subsidies that helped low- and middle-income individuals and families purchase previously unaffordable coverage. It also eliminated premiums for those making 150 percent of the federal poverty level and guaranteed comprehensive coverage costs no more than 8.5 percent of a family’s income. Millions of those Marketplace enrollees are benefiting from enhanced premium tax credits passed by Congress as part of the ARPA, which have cut premiums in half for many beneficiaries. This year, four out of five enrollees have been able to find a plan for $10 or less per month, and families are saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums.
With these subsidies set to expire at the end of 2022, the Senators urged congressional leadership to make them permanent in upcoming reconciliation legislation.
The Senators concluded, “Health care costs continue to rise, and we must ensure affordable, quality health coverage remains in reach. ARPA improved coverage affordability and if these subsidies are not extended premium payments will rise sharply for nearly all marketplace enrollees. We must not lose momentum in our work to close the coverage gap. As you continue your ongoing work to negotiate a reconciliation package, we urge to make permanent the vital ARPA enhanced premium tax credits.”
Their letter can be read in full here.
In addition to Shaheen, the letter is also signed by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Angus King (I-ME), Gary Peters (D-MI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jack Reed (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).