July 04, 2022

Duckworth wants permanent ACA subsidies

Source: Crain's Chicago Business


Duckworth Urges Senate Leadership to Extend ACA Subsidies: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., was one of 13 Senate Democrats to urge leadership to make the Affordable Care Act's enhanced premium tax credits permanent. The credits are otherwise set to expire at the end of the year.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the lawmakers said the move should come during the upcoming reconciliation legislation.

  “Americans deserve a stable health care market that provides access to high-quality care coverage for all, and American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced premium tax credits must be extended to ensure that we can maintain our progress on closing the coverage gap,” the letter stated. “Failure to do so will leave millions with increased costs for vital health insurance, undoing Democrats’ progress in ensuring that every American has access to affordable, meaningful coverage.”

A record 14.5 million Americans signed up for ACA marketplace plans, with 13 million of those people receiving subsidies that helped low- and middle-income individuals and families purchase previously unaffordable coverage, the statement said. The Rescue Plan subsidies also eliminated premiums for those making 150% of the federal poverty level and guaranteed comprehensive coverage costs no more than 8.5% of a family’s income, the statement said.

Joint Commission Wants to Work With Hospitals On Emission-Reduction Plans: Oakbrook Terrace-based hospital accreditor the Joint Commission says it wants to act as repository for sustainability best practices to share among the health care organizations as they work to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

  Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, the new president and CEO of the Joint Commission said in a statement that climate change is among his top strategic priorities. The Oakbrook Terrace-based hospital accreditor will support the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and health care organizations' efforts to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, the statement said.

“Our mission is to continuously improve health care for the public, and we cannot fulfill that without addressing climate change," Perlin said. "As the largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, it is vital that we take a leadership role and work with health care organizations nationally and internationally to reduce the carbon footprint.”

The Joint Commission recently convened a group of health care organizations to learn about the steps they have taken to address their impact on the climate, the statement said. 

Ascension, the national health system with 15 hospitals in the Chicago area, joined the Healthcare Sector Climate Pledge, committing to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030. Craig Cordola, Ascension executive vice president and chief operating officer was on site at the White House, last week, along with other health care industry colleagues, to mark the occasion.

The Joint Commission, Ascension Illinois, Advocate Aurora Health, Rush University System for Health and CommonSpirit Health are the Chicago-area organizations who last week joined with other companies around the country in committing to reduce their emissions through the federal Health Sector Climate Pledge.

By:  Jon Asplund