Cunningham votes in favor of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act amid pandemic

South Carolina News

Democrat Joe Cunningham speaks during his victory press conference at the International Longshoremen’s Association hall in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. U.S. House candidate Cunningham used a personal touch and concern for local issues like offshore drilling to beat a Republican in conservative South Carolina. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Joe Cunningham voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act on Monday, bipartisan legislation geared towards making healthcare accessible and affordable to all Americans.

The Act focuses on five major areas:

  • Lowering health coverage costs
  • Lowering prescription drug costs
  • Expanding coverage
  • Combatting inequities faced by minority communities
  • Cracking down on “junk plans” and strengthening protections for those with pre-existing conditions

Cunningham has been heavily involved in the development of the Act; legislation he previously introduced, and an amendment he authored, are both included in the Act.

The Medicaid REACH Act, which Cunningham introduced earlier this year, “would require SC and other states that have not expanded Medicaid to publish a yearly report on access to affordable health coverage in their state.” This component is important, as “South Carolinians’ tax dollars are being used to pay for Medicaid expansion in other states, without receiving any of the benefits.”

The amendment authored by Cunningham concerns prescription drug prices, and “would make lower prices negotiated by [the] legislation available to veterans within the VA healthcare system”

Cunningham said that given the “unprecedented public health crisis, it is clear that access to quality, affordable health care is more important than ever.”

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