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Health care battle rages on: House Dems to introduce healthcare expansion bill, as Trump admin seeks to dismantle entire ACA

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. on Nov. 7, 2018.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. on Nov. 7, 2018.
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Leading House Democrats, backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are unveiling broad legislation to shore up the Affordable Care Act.

It’s an attempt to deliver on campaign promises about health care and to — just maybe— change the conversation.

According to Pelosi’s office, the bill being unveiled Tuesday would make more middle-class people eligible for subsidized health insurance through former President Barack Obama’s health law, often called “Obamacare,” while increasing aid for those with lower incomes who already qualify. And it would fix a longstanding affordability problem for some consumers, known as the “family glitch.”

The legislation would provide money to help insurers pay the bills of their costliest patients and restore advertising and outreach budgets slashed by President Donald Trump’s administration, helping to stabilize health insurance markets.

It also would block the Trump administration from loosening “Obamacare” rules through waivers that allow states to undermine protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions or to scale back so-called “essential” benefits like coverage for mental health and addiction treatment.

The bill will get a vote in the House, but as a package it has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate. However, some elements have bipartisan support and may make it into law.

The bill is expected to be unveiled today at 11:30am PST.  

With files from the Associated Press


Alice Ollstein, health care reporter on Capitol Hill for Politico who’s been following the story; she tweets @AliceOllstein