Last Updated on February 10, 2021
Any mention of a temporary expansion that breathes life back into Obamacare was mysteriously missing from a summary of the House Democrat pandemic relief stimulus proposal released to the public by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman US Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), Monday. But it’s there.
Tucked away at the end of the $1.9 trillion 90-page legislative proposal is verbiage that outlines the first expansion of Obamacare in more than a decade.
One of the two proposals held in the proposed legislation would fully subsidize Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage for people who earn up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
The new Obamacare eligibility table now incorporates people making more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That table affords subsidies for first time application, capping their total premium costs at 8.5 percent of their income.
The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are hoping to tuck into their economic recovery plan a significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act modeled off a program first enacted in California last year. https://t.co/iy4EDBCPDl
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 5, 2021
Another proposal included in the legislation would cover 85 percent of a person’s health insurance premiums for those laid-off during the pandemic utilizing COBRA, access to their employer-based health insurance.
“Our nation is struggling, the virus is still not contained, and the American people are counting on Congress to meet this moment with bold, immediate action,” Neal said in a statement. “From increasing direct assistance to those who need it most to expanding tax credits for low- and middle-income workers, we deliver substantial solutions in this package.”
Neal’s legislation proposals are written as budget reconciliation measures, which means House Democrats can pass them with a simple majority. They would need no support from Republicans in that chamber.
The $1.9 trillion #ReliefPackage being drafted by House Democrats features the 1st expansion of #Obamacare in more than a decade, according to a set of legislative proposals unveiled by @RepRichardNeal. https://t.co/mxlNJhwRh7
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) February 9, 2021
The nine proposals outlined in Neal’s legislative outline make up roughly half of the $1.9 trillion package offered by Democrats. The package includes the $1,400 direct payments to Americans.
President Biden signed an executive order last month ordering the reopening of Obamacare’s online health insurance marketplaces. People seeking health insurance under the law will be offered the chance in a few weeks.