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As the Affordable Care Act Turns 11, Peters Highlights Progress Made in Effort to Strengthen Access to Affordable Health Care

Peters Applauds Key Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act That Will Strengthen the Health Care Law and Expand Access to Quality Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC – On the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act becoming law, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) is highlighting actions taken to strengthen the health care law and to expand access to quality care. The American Rescue Plan Act, which Peters helped pass and was signed into law this month, included significant steps to strengthen the health care law and lower health care costs.

“Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law – expanding health care access to Michigan families and saving lives. We’ve made important strides since then – including through the American Rescue Plan, which will be vital especially during this pandemic – but there’s still more we must do to increase access to quality health care and lower costs,” said Senator Peters. “I’ll keep fighting to reduce health care costs and lower prescription drug costs for folks in Michigan and across the country.”

Specifically, the American Rescue Plan Act:

  • Eliminates premiums in the exchanges for people earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $19,000 for a single person and $39,000 for a family of four) and for Michiganders receiving unemployment insurance in 2021.
    • According to Families USA, 90,000 uninsured workers relying on unemployment insurance in Michigan stand to benefit from this extension of premium subsidies.
  • Makes coverage more affordable for middle class Michiganders by temporarily expanding the eligibility for premium tax credits above 400 percent of the federal poverty level— roughly $51,000 for a single person or $105,000 for a family of four. Under current law, families earning just above 400 percent of the federal poverty level spend an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance.
    • A 60-year-old Michigan couple with a household income of $75,000 will save $943 in monthly premiums.
    • A Michigan family of four with a household income of $120,000 will save $259 in monthly premiums.
  • Improves affordability for low- and middle-income Michiganders by increasing the size of the tax credits for all income brackets for the next two years.
    • A typical family of four with a household income of $75,000 will save $248 on monthly premiums, while a single adult earning $30,000 will save $110 per month.
  • Allows states to expand Medicaid coverage for new mothers one year after giving birth.
  • Increases funding to provide health services for communities of color by expanding Community Health Centers and investing in health services on tribal lands.

The American Rescue Plan builds on Peters’ efforts to expand health care access, including pressing for a special COVID-19 enrollment period – which the Biden Administration re-opened through May 15th – so that Americans who need coverage during the pandemic can access the care they need.  

Peters voted for the health care law as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and has continued working to improve the law and expand access to quality, affordable care. Through his leadership on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters held listening tours across Michigan and launched an investigation that identified skyrocketing prescription drug costs, a growing number of drug shortages, and the United States’ overreliance on foreign sources to produce the lifesaving medications that millions of Americans depend on. As a result, Peters authored legislation to help bring the manufacturing of critical drugs and medical supplies back to the United States.