Durbin Calls On Congress To Extend ACA Tax Credits

Thanks to Democrats, 14.5 million people signed up for ACA plans during the 2022 open enrollment period

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged his colleagues to extend the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax credits—which eliminated or reduced out-of-pocket premiums for millions of people. If Congress doesn’t act soon, these tax credits will expire at the end of the year. Thanks to Democrats, who all supported the American Rescue Plan, a record 14.5 million people signed up for ACA plans during the 2022 open enrollment period.

Durbin said, “There are Americans who have better insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. They cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, they don't have annual or lifetime limits on coverage, they have free preventive health care, and young adults can stay on their parents' plan until they reach of age of 26, all positive things that are wildly popular. Still, the Republicans resist the idea that this is going to be the law of the land if they have anything to say about it.”

Last year, Democrats passed and President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, which made ACA health plans more widely available and more affordable for millions of Americans. That package increased the size of the ACA’s tax credits, which expanded eligibility so that more lower- and middle-income Americans are now eligible for the tax credits. Nearly one-third of enrollees found a plan that costs $10 per month or less. 

“In the midst of this once-in-a-century pandemic, the American Rescue Plan provided families across the nation with peace of mind,” Durbin continued. “Here's the problem  -if Congress doesn't do something and soon, these enhancements lowering the cost of premiums for American families will end. That causes millions of people to lose their health insurance or have to pay more. If you're in a time of inflation where the cost of living is going up, wouldn't you want to be on the train that says lower health insurance premiums? The Democrats are... Millions of people will either lose their insurance or pay more if we don't do something. Not one single Republican Senator will join in our efforts.”

Durbin concluded, “Let us get it done soon, by August when insurers start notifying people of their premiums. People have a lot on their plate-- from rising costs, to fear of gun violence, to increasing COVID cases. Let us not add to the burdens of taxpaying families by hiking their health insurance premiums next year. The Democrats want to fix it. We invite the Republicans, who give many speeches on the cost of living for families, to join us.”

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.