Health care in America got far better the day that the Affordable Care Act eliminated the insane and insidious discrimination against those with pre-existing health conditions. In one fell swoop, that change brought security to millions of people who otherwise worried that if they or a loved one had a condition like diabetes, there would be no quality, affordable coverage available to them. The Affordable Care Act significantly advanced the proposition that health care is a human right, but Americans who still lack insurance coverage cannot exercise that right fully.
I'm thrilled that the committee is joined this morning by Senator Reverend Warnock, who has become the conscience of the
That's one aspect of the health coverage challenge the committee will discuss today. The committee will also talk about building on what worked in the response to COVID-19.
Earlier this year, reversing course on a Trump administration policy that made it harder for people to get health care during a pandemic,
As part of the American Rescue Plan that passed in March,
All in all, consumers who updated their health coverage during the special enrollment period are saving on their net monthly premiums by an average of 40 percent. Nearly two out of three consumers can get a plan with zero premium, after tax credits. Extending those improvements, in my view, is a no brainer. It's a way to improve health coverage and put money back in Americans' pockets at the same time.
In addition to expanding insurance coverage, today's hearing is also an opportunity to discuss how Medicare, while a lifeline for tens of millions, still has key gaps in what it covers. For example,
Similarly, this committee is working on a plan to allow seniors and people with disabilities to get the care they need in the place where they're most comfortable, at home.
Before I wrap up I also want to briefly address some of the key facts that have been distorted in health care debates. None of the plans I've talked about will reduce the solvency of Medicare's
Republican senators' stated concern over Medicare didn't stop them from attempting to repeal the ACA, which would have devastated Medicare's finances had they succeeded. The Trump tax law even reduced payments into Medicare's trust fund.
Shoring up the
The record shows that
So there's a lot for us to discuss today. I'm expecting a lively hearing. Once again I want to thank our friend Senator Reverend Warnock for being here along with all our witnesses. I'm looking forward to Q&A.
Read this original document at: https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/wyden-statement-at-finance-committee-hearing-on-health-insurance-coverage