The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 1425). NRLC will include votes related to H.R. 1425 in our scorecard of key right-to-life votes of the 116th Congress.
H.R. 1425 contains several objectionable provisions including: 1) Permanent tax credit increases to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); 2) A new federal reinsurance program run by states without Hyde-like protections; and 3) Prescription drug price controls that will lead to the rationing of treatment.
Up until the passage of the PPACA, or Obamacare, an array of long-established laws, including the Hyde Amendment, had created a nearly uniform policy that federal programs did not pay for abortion or subsidize health plans that included coverage of abortion, with narrow exceptions. Regrettably, provisions of the 2010 Obamacare health law ruptured that longstanding policy. Among other objectionable provisions, the Obamacare law authorized massive federal subsidies to assist many millions of Americans to purchase private health plans that cover abortion on demand. For documentation, please see here and here.
H.R. 1425 amends the PPACA by permanently enlarging the federal insurance premium subsidies and also by expanding eligibility for who can receive the premium tax credits.
In addition, H.R. 1425 creates a new federal insurance program dealing with cost-sharing reductions (CSR) and reinsurance, and these payments do not include Hyde-like protections. If enacted, the H.R. 1425 CSR payments can be expected to underwrite a significant number of Obamacare plans that cover abortion on demand. The mandatory $10 billion in annual appropriations can also be used to provide reinsurance payments to health insurance insurers, in both the group and individual markets, to offset the cost of certain enrollees.
The provisions above would not only bolster Obamacare (which has been the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade) but would directly appropriate taxpayer dollars for insurance that includes elective abortion.
H.R. 1425 also contains significant components of H.R. 3, the so-called “Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019.” H.R. 1425 would effectively impose rationing of lifesaving drugs through drug price controls, not only in Medicare, but in the entire U.S. health market. The provisions of H.R. 1425 would instruct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate prices for a significant and increasing number of drugs per year. The prices resulting from these “negotiations” would then be imposed on the entire U.S. healthcare market. Manufacturers that attempt to deviate from these fixed prices would face massive civil monetary penalties.
According to the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) analysis of H.R. 3, the legislative provisions (now contained in H.R. 1425) would endanger patients by leading to a loss of anywhere between 100 to 400 new drugs in the U.S. over the next decade and reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by four months. In short, it would prevent people from accessing current life-saving medication and prevent new innovative medications from coming to market.
You can read more here.
For the reasons described above, National Right to Life urges you to oppose H.R. 1425 and will include votes related to H.R. 1425 in our scorecard of key right-to-life votes of the 116th Congress.
Thank you for your consideration of NRLC’s position on this important legislation.