Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Helps Unveil Patient Protection & Affordable Care Enhancement Act

Legislation will strengthen ACA, lower health costs and prescription drug prices

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), June 26, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, one day after the Trump Administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) helped unveil new legislation to build on the ACA to lower health costs and prescription drug prices: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act. 


“From Day One, I have been working hard to defend the Affordable Care Act and lower the cost of health care for Texas families,” said Congressman Cuellar.  “This legislation takes bold action by expanding health coverage for vulnerable communities and allowing Americans to negotiate prescription drug prices. I am committed to fighting for the health and safety of families in Texas, and across the United States. I call upon my colleagues to join us in passing this bill and urge the Trump Administration to drop the lawsuit to destroy the ACA during the coronavirus pandemic.”


The bill significantly increases the ACA’s affordability subsidies to be more generous and cover more middle-class families.  For the first time, no person will have to pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for a benchmark silver plan in the ACA marketplaces, and many Americans will see their premiums cut in half or more:


  • A family of four earning $40,000 would save nearly $1,600 in premiums each year.
  • A 64-year-old earning $57,420 would save more than $8,700 in premiums each year.
  • A single adult with income of $31,900 would see premiums cut in half.
  • An adult earning $19,140 would see premiums cut to zero, saving $800 dollars a year.


The bill negotiates for lower prescription drug prices, delivering the power to negotiate lower drug prices so that Americans no longer have to pay more for medicine than people overseas.


The bill expands coverage, pressing Medicaid expansion hold-out states with new carrots and sticks to adopt coverage for the 4.8 million Americans excluded from coverage, while restoring the outreach and advertising funding to help Americans learn more about the affordable health coverage available to them under the ACA.


The bill combats inequity in health coverage faced by communities of color, expanding more affordable coverage to vulnerable populations and fighting the maternal mortality epidemic by requiring states to extend Medicaid or CHIP coverage to new mothers for a full year post-partum.


The bill cracks down on junk plans & strengthens protections for people with pre-existing conditions, reversing the Trump Administration’s expansion of 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.


To read a fact sheet on the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, click here.