Spanberger pushes provisions to lower healthcare costs

Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Spanberger is urging House leadership to prioritize policies in upcoming negotiations that would lower Central Virginians’ healthcare costs as they face healthcare affordability challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Spanberger, D-Va., and 17 of her freshman colleagues urged the Speaker to include legislative solutions to make healthcare more affordable in the next congressional coronavirus relief package.

In the letter, they note that quality, affordable healthcare had been out of reach for many American families—even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic—and now, as a result of this public health crisis, premiums could spike even higher.

“Lowering the rising costs of health insurance premiums has been a priority for each of us since we were sworn into Congress. In a time of enormous economic uncertainty, the American people deserve greater health and financial security, especially when it comes to health insurance costs,” according to the letter. “The suffering this pandemic has caused is a tragic reminder of the fundamental importance of health insurance coverage. By including provisions to reduce the skyrocketing cost of health insurance premiums in the next COVID-19 legislative package, we can deliver on a promise to the people: ensuring every American has access to quality, affordable health care.”

In the letter, the Members advocated for policies based on the Health Care Affordability Act (H.R. 1868) and the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act (H.R. 1425), which Spanberger cosponsored.

The Health Care Affordability Act would reduce premiums by hundreds or thousands of dollars for more than 28,000 people in the Seventh District by increasing access to premium subsidies and making existing subsidies more generous.

For example:

  • A typical Virginia family of four making $110,000 would see their premiums fall by $886 per month.That would cut their premium for benchmark marketplace coverage by more than half, from about 18 to 8.5 percent of income.
  • An older couple (both age 60) making $75,000 would see their premiums fall by $1,682 per month.That would cut their premium for benchmark marketplace coverage by more than 70 percent, from 35 to 8.5 percent of income.
  • A family of four making $75,000 would see their premiums fall by $168 per month.That would cut their premium for benchmark coverage by nearly 30 percent, from about 10 to about seven percent of income.

Additionally, the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act would reduce premiums for consumers by establishing a reinsurance program to reduce insurers’ risk and dramatically reduce premiums.

According to one actuarial analysis, the reinsurance program envisioned by this bill would reduce premiums by about 40 percent. So far, 12 states have set up their own reinsurance programs and caused premiums to fall by as much as 20%.


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