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Congresswoman Johnson pushes for progress in STEM-related fields

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 4/4/2019, 3:30 p.m.
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, reported ending last month with a ...
eddie bernice johnson

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, reported ending last month with a “bang” for the health and science communities.

On March 26, she co-sponsored sweeping new health care legislation that will lower Texans’ health insurance premiums, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and undo the plans that the Trump administration had for health care. The Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care Affordable Act was introduced the day after the Trump administration asked a federal court to strike down every part of the Affordable Care Act, including the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“After failing to repeal the ACA in Congress or at the ballot box last November, Republicans are continuing their war on affordable health care by attempting to use the courts to undo the progress achieved by Obamacare,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Since the first day of our majority, the House Democratic Caucus has been fighting for the people, focusing on new legislation that lowers health costs and prescription drug prices for all Americans. With the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care Affordable Act, Democrats are taking another step forward to meet our promise to lower health costs for the American people.”

Lower health insurance premiums with strengthened and expanded affordability assistance

• Strengthening tax credits in the marketplace to lower Americans’ health insurance premiums and allows more middle-class individuals and families to qualify for subsidies.

• Ensuring that families who don’t have an offer of affordable coverage from an employer can still qualify for subsidies in the marketplace.

• Providing funding for reinsurance, to help with high cost claims, improve marketplace stability, and prevent the Trump administration’s sabotage from raising premiums.

Strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions

• Curtailing the Trump administration’s efforts to give states waivers to undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions and weaken standards for essential health benefits, which would leave consumers with less comprehensive plans that do not cover needed services, such as prescription drugs, maternity care and substance use disorder treatment.

Stop insurance companies from selling junk health

insurance plans

• Stopping the Trump administration’s efforts to push Americans into junk health insurance plans that do not provide coverage for essential medical treatments and drugs, and that are allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Reverse the GOP’s health care strategy that has driven up premiums and uninsured rates, and empower states to innovate and invest in enrolling more people in affordable health coverage

• Reversing the Trump administration’s plan by requiring open enrollment outreach, education, and funding for navigators.

• Investing in state efforts to conduct outreach to increase enrollment, educate consumers of their rights, and help individuals navigate the health insurance system.

• Empowering states to implement new approaches to increasing enrollment and allows states to set up their own marketplaces.

• Holding the administration accountable for its use of federal dollars dedicated to increasing enrollment, outreach and running the federal exchange.

On March 28, she also co-sponsored H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, House Democrats’ new legislation that would require the Trump administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord and to develop a serious plan for how the United States will meet its commitment to reduce pollution.