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Local News

Will County area members of Congress vote to enhance Obamacare

U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood (left) and Bill Foster were among the area members of Congress to vote to enhance the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."
U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood (left) and Bill Foster were among the area members of Congress to vote to enhance the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."

Will County area members of Congress voted this week to bolster the Affordable Care Act, the law commonly known as Obamacare.

The House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act on a mostly party line vote. The vote came days after the Trump administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the ACA, according to a news release.

“The Trump administration’s attempt to take away Americans’ health care amid a pandemic is disgraceful,” U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said in a statement. “Access to quality, affordable health care is more important than ever.”

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, said the administration’s efforts to dismantle the law was “an issue of life and death.”

“I ran for Congress to ensure every family in my community has access to the high-quality, affordable health care they deserve, and I’m so pleased to make good on our promise to lower health care costs,” Underwood said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, Foster and Underwood all voted for the legislation.

The bill significantly increases the ACA’s subsidies so more middle-class families can buy health insurance. The changes would make it so that no person would have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for a benchmark silver plan from the ACA marketplaces, which would cut premiums in half or more, according to a news release.

The legislation also would push states that did not expand Medicaid under the original ACA to expand coverage for the about 4.8 million Americans who were left out.

The legislation also requires states to extend coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program for kids from low-income families, which the members argue would help address inequities in the health care system.

The bill also would reverse a Trump administration effort to expand short-term health insurance plans that are cheaper than plans under Obamacare but provide fewer benefits, such as no maternity or preventive care.

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