House Passes Bipartisan Health Care Effort Led by Congressman Kim
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation authored by Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) which would increase access and lower health care costs by incentivizing the transition to state-based health insurance exchanges.
“I came to Congress to get something done for New Jersey families on health care, and I’m proud to deliver on that promise today,” said Congressman Kim. “This is the number one issue on people’s minds in Burlington and Ocean Counties. We came together as a Democrat and Republican to introduce this legislation and worked to get it passed. The Senate should look to our example and do the same. Our neighbors don’t have time for partisan games. The time is now to act on lowering health care costs.”
The bipartisan legislation, originally introduced as H.R.1385, the State Allowance for a Variety of Exchanges (SAVE) Act, was incorporated into H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act.
Through the use of $200 million in competitive grant money, the SAVE Act would ease the transition to state-based health insurance marketplaces for many states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, that currently participate in the federally-facilitated exchange and that want to move to a state-based marketplace. Switching to state-based marketplaces would allow residents to avoid rising user fees in the federal marketplace and provide increased access to options that would help lower costs for consumers.
Additionally, a recent report by the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy shows that state-based exchanges are proven to have higher enrollment growth, which has been shown to further bring down costs.
Other previsions in H.R. 987 would lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing more affordable generic drugs to come to market sooner and would strengthen existing health care laws by expanding access to more affordable care.
Last week, the SAVE Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Menendez (D-NJ), where it has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.