Pallone seeks to protect, expand Affordable Care Act with legislation

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Congressman Frank Pallone is urging Congress to advance his legislation that he says protects and expands the Affordable Care Act.

The congressman joined members of the Visiting Nurse Association Community Center in Asbury Park to push a number of bills that are in the process of moving through his committee. Pallone who is also the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee has led the fight to keep provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protect people who have pre-existing conditions.

Under Pallone’s legislation, health care premiums would be lowered, he would get rid of the cap on eligibility for tax credits, funding for enrollment would be restored, tax credits and subsidies would be increased, the marketplace would be improved to benefit consumers.

Among the bills Pallone is championing is the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act. It would provide $10 million annually to states to establish a state reinsurance program to reduce out-of-pocket-costs.

“The other advantage of having a reinsurance program is, remember that the insurance marketplace is supposed to be competitive. And one of the problems that states have right now is that some of them only have one or two places and they’re not doing anything to keep costs down,” Pallone said.

Pallone says there is a hearing this week on the legislation. At the end of March he expects to move the bills out of subcommittee, and ultimately onto the House floor.