House Democratic leaders to unveil health bill, minus Medicare for All

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded to the Trump administration's reversal on the Affordable Care Act, saying Republican lawmakers say one thing then do another.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 1:16 PM


The House Democrats' divide over health care will be on full display Tuesday, when leaders plan to fulfill their midterm election promise by rolling out comprehensive legislation to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

The bill aims to protect people with pre-existing conditions, as well as lower health care costs and reverse the Trump administration's moves to weaken Obamacare. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with several committee chairs and freshman lawmakers, are set to unveil the legislation at a public event designed to mark the ninth anniversary of the signing of the landmark health care law.

What's not in the bill? Anything resembling a universal "Medicare for All" plan, a version of which was introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Debbie Dingell of Michigan last month and has more than 100 co-sponsors.

Pelosi acknowledged the goal of universal health care in a statement over the weekend, saying: "As we mark the 9th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we reaffirm our commitment to this fundamental truth: that health care must be a right, not a privilege, for all Americans."

But party leaders continue to slow walk the Medicare for All bill through the House. No hearings are scheduled, though the Rules and Budget committees have said they would hold hearings on the concept of so-called "single payer" programs, in which the federal government would have an expanded role in health care.

Jayapal's office didn't immediately return a request for comment.

House leaders are taking several steps to lower costs and shore up Obamacare, even as the landmark law comes under new legal threat from a lawsuit by Republican-led states. On Monday, the Trump administration dropped its previous support for elements of the law, instead siding with a lower court judge who ruled in December that the entire law should be invalidated in a case that may make its way to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday's House bill calls for increasing subsidies and allowing more middle class Americans to qualify. It would also provide additional funding for states to implement publicly-backed reinsurance programs, which reduce premiums by shielding insurance companies from high-cost enrollees.

The bill would also reverse the Trump administration's rules that make it easier for Americans to buy short-term policies that don't provide all of the protections required under the Affordable Care Act. Consumer advocates are concerned that these plans will draw healthy people out of the exchanges leaving sicker folks in the system -- which in turn would drive up premiums.

It would also curtail the administration's efforts to allow states to waive certain protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including weakening the standards for the benefits that insurers must provide, such as prescription drugs and maternity.

And the legislation would restore funding for enrollment assistance and outreach for the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration slashed the budgets for advertising and sign-up aid, which many advocates say prompted fewer people to participate.

"The American people spoke loudly in November for exactly what this bill does," said Leslie Dach, a former Obama administration official and chair of Protect Our Care, an advocacy group seeking to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. "It's a giant step forward to providing lower-cost, better care and ending sabotage."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 733591

Reported Deaths: 13466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1003871748
Lake54020975
Allen40829679
St. Joseph35898552
Hamilton35735408
Elkhart28745442
Tippecanoe22432219
Vanderburgh22342397
Porter18871310
Johnson18028381
Hendricks17283315
Clark13015191
Madison12725339
Vigo12482248
LaPorte12011214
Monroe11928170
Delaware10726187
Howard9959218
Kosciusko9451117
Hancock8325142
Bartholomew8085156
Warrick7792155
Floyd7677178
Grant7080174
Wayne7064199
Boone6722101
Morgan6596139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6083112
Cass5839105
Dearborn582178
Henry5767104
Noble563684
Jackson502773
Shelby493696
Lawrence4571120
Harrison436372
Gibson436292
DeKalb429685
Clinton428153
Montgomery425389
Whitley397439
Huntington393380
Steuben390057
Miami382668
Knox372690
Jasper370148
Putnam362360
Wabash354980
Adams341955
Ripley340270
Jefferson331581
White315654
Daviess298299
Wells291981
Decatur285692
Fayette281662
Greene280085
Posey271933
LaGrange268370
Scott267254
Clay260647
Washington241832
Randolph241481
Spencer232631
Jennings230649
Starke217854
Fountain213246
Sullivan212142
Owen202156
Jay196730
Fulton195640
Carroll189620
Orange184154
Perry184037
Rush173725
Vermillion169743
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146616
Blackford135132
Pike135134
Pulaski117145
Newton108334
Brown102641
Crawford101315
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82415
Switzerland7938
Union71110
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1089357

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1265611406
Cuyahoga1129542134
Hamilton803281211
Montgomery517261015
Summit47483955
Lucas42491792
Butler38487585
Stark32544909
Lorain25135486
Warren24359300
Mahoning21735588
Lake20791371
Clermont19844240
Delaware18582133
Licking16470212
Fairfield16284200
Trumbull16141468
Medina15341266
Greene15128244
Clark14062299
Wood13153189
Portage12930206
Allen11713232
Richland11414199
Miami10706220
Wayne8900214
Columbiana8859229
Muskingum8824133
Pickaway8589121
Marion8553136
Tuscarawas8500245
Erie7937155
Hancock6935128
Ashtabula6871172
Ross6871156
Geauga6724148
Scioto6431102
Belmont5960168
Union572948
Lawrence5583102
Jefferson5566151
Huron5453120
Darke5372126
Sandusky5369122
Seneca5305122
Washington5213109
Athens520458
Auglaize494586
Mercer481185
Shelby470193
Knox4506110
Madison438263
Putnam4297101
Fulton425969
Ashland425190
Defiance423997
Crawford3989107
Brown396657
Logan383076
Preble381098
Clinton373863
Ottawa368181
Highland356262
Williams342575
Champaign334658
Guernsey317353
Jackson313752
Perry295750
Morrow286839
Fayette282950
Hardin271564
Henry270266
Coshocton265657
Holmes2621101
Van Wert243963
Adams239553
Pike238034
Gallia236449
Wyandot232055
Hocking216062
Carroll192148
Paulding173940
Meigs145240
Noble133737
Monroe132542
Harrison109237
Morgan108523
Vinton84215
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 65°
Angola
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 61°
Huntington
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 65°
Van Wert
Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 68°
Isolated rain showers are possible late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Most of Sunday will be dry and warm, but one or two pop-up showers possible Sunday afternoon.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events