Congressman McEachin introduces Advancing Youth Enrollment Act

Donald McEachinCongressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) introduced the Advancing Youth Enrollment (AYE) Act to help more young Americans afford healthcare by increasing tax credits and, thereby, reducing coverage costs.

“Our young Americans struggle with the constant challenge of trying to make ends meet with limited resources. Far too often, they are burdened with student debt, burgeoning housing costs, and stagnant wages. I introduced the Advancing Youth Enrollment Act to reduce healthcare costs so that millions more Americans will have the access to the affordable healthcare they need,” said Congressman Donald McEachin.“Moreover, young adult participation in the individual marketplace helps stabilize the entire system and maintain its viability and affordability. Incentivizing more young people to enroll in a high-quality healthcare plan helps them, and it will hold down costs for older Americans, as well.”

All Americans who buy coverage through an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace would ultimately benefit from the AYE Act. This bill would strengthen premium assistance tax credits under the ACA to reduce healthcare costs for Americans under 35, enabling more young people to get covered. Current law caps premiums, as a percentage of income, for low- and middle-income families and individuals who buy health insurance plans through an ACA exchange. The AYE Act would lower those caps by an additional 2.5 percent for 18-to-30-year-olds; that reduction would be phased out in 0.5 percent annual increments for those aged of 31-34.

The Senate version of this bill was introduced in March by Senator Tammy Baldwin.

“In Wisconsin and across the country, insurance premiums are rising and health care costs keep going up as a result of the Trump Administration’s repeated attempts to sabotage our health care system. We must take action to help stabilize the health insurance marketplace and lower health care costs,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This reform will make health coverage more affordable for 4 million uninsured young adults and maintain the guaranteed protections that people depend on. When we get more young adults signed up for health coverage we can help improve health, and stabilize and strengthen the health insurance marketplace to help make coverage more affordable for all of our families.”

Both Young Invincibles and Protect Our Care have endorsed this legislation.

“We’re thrilled to see a bill designed to help young adults gain more access to quality health coverage versus the continued effort driven by this Administration to take away coverage and force struggling young people into junk health plans as the only option for affordability,” said Rachel Fleischer, Executive Director of the Young Invincibles. “Young people want quality health insurance that covers things that are important to them, like preventive care, mental health care, and birth control. The AYE Act will help make this kind of coverage more affordable to 9 million young people for whom coverage has still been out of reach, while further stabilizing the health insurance marketplace. We commend Congressman McEachin and the AYE Act’s 14 original co-sponsors in the House for recognizing the critical role that young adults’ access to quality, affordable health insurance plays in keeping our country healthy and stabilizing the market.

More than 9 million young Americans, including more than 5 million who are currently uninsured, would benefit from the changes made with the AYE Act.

Original cosponsors at the time of introduction are: Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, Yvette D. Clarke, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Al Green, Alcee L. Hastings, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Seth Moulton, Donald M. Payne, Jr., and José E. Serrano.

Bill text is available here. Fact sheet is available here.

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