The AAMC responded to a request for information from House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in response to their plans to develop legislation to establish a public option for health coverage to lower health care costs and help more families get quality, affordable health care. The RFI, issued on May 26, indicated that the comments received would be used to inform upcoming legislative efforts.
In its July 29 letter, the AAMC thanked Congress and the Biden administration for the steps they have taken to expand access to affordable, high quality health care coverage and improve health equity. The AAMC urged Congress to take additional actions, including to:
- Strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by permanently extending the temporary Marketplace subsidies in the American Rescue Plan [refer to Washington Highlights, March 12], eliminating the “family glitch,” reducing out-of-pocket costs for people with low- and middle-incomes on the Marketplaces, and increasing funding for ACA outreach and navigators.
- Address the Medicaid coverage gap by providing incentives for non-Medicaid expansion states to adopt expansion, adopting a federal coverage option for the remaining uninsured population in nonexpansion states, and making the federal medical assistance percentage more responsive to economic changes so that it automatically increases during periods of economic downturns.
- Improve health care coverage quality by addressing the growing number of uninsured individuals by ensuring comprehensive coverage is available to all.
- Increase health equity and improve data collection by investing in addressing social determinants of health; improving maternal health outcomes; and developing data collection practices that are standardized, valid, and inclusive.