House Democrats unveil plan to bolster ACA

House Democrats have unveiled a bill that aims to shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as lawmakers prepare for the downhill slide to an election that has revolved significantly around how far to go with health reform.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act (PDF) would boost subsidies for ACA plans and nix Trump administration actions such as the expansion of short-term health plans. It stops short, however, of more ambitious Democrat proposals—including those backed by likely presidential nominee Joe Biden—to offer a public option.

The bill also includes permanent funding for the Children's Health Insurance Programs and financial incentives to encourage states to expand Medicaid eligibility.

The legislation is likely to be stonewalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference Wednesday morning that protecting the ACA is even more critical due to the impact of COVID-19.

She noted that the Supreme Court will hear from the Department of Justice on its stance in the case over the future of the ACA on Thursday, drawing a direct comparison between where the two parties stand on healthcare.

"[Eliminating the law] was wrong any time," she said. "Now, it's beyond stupid."