June 25, 2020
Understanding the ACA Enhancement Bill, H.R. 1425
Next week the House of Representatives will consider the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, H.R. 1425. In a new analysis, AAF’s Director of Health Care Policy Christopher Holt outlines and assesses the major provisions in this proposal. The bill would expand ACA subsidies, try to force states to expand Medicaid through both incentives and penalties, and require the federal government to negotiate directly over drug prices — all significant changes that would have either a significant price tag or other negative consequences, Holt notes.
Some lawmakers are touting H.R. 1425 as a moderate attempt to address health care costs and expand insurance coverage. In reality, it is moderate only in comparison to proposals for Medicare for All advocated by many progressives. The legislation would substantially expand federal financing of health care, but would do little to reduce the cost of health care. Instead it simply transfers more of those costs to taxpayers. Further, those measures that might conceivably lead to reduced health care spending, particularly pharmaceutical provisions in Title III, would negatively impact the development and availability of new cures and treatments.