Vote Explanation for H.R. 2579 — Broader Options for Americans Act
H.R. 2579, the Broader Options for Americans Act, would allow individuals to use Trumpcare’s premium tax credits to help pay for their COBRA coverage if they are paying for COBRA entirely out of pocket. COBRA provides employees the option to temporarily continue their employer-sponsored health plans if they leave or lose their jobs.
It is important to note that under COBRA, an individual pays the full cost of the premiums plus a 2 percent administrative fee. Most individuals eligible for COBRA do not select this coverage option because of the high, unsubsidized cost at a time when income is often declining.
This legislation may have a negative impact on employer-sponsored coverage by encouraging older and sicker workers to remain in COBRA coverage, which could weaken the risk pool. The bill could be particularly problematic for small businesses that must retain former employees on their insurance plan, which could increase premiums.
The bill does nothing to address the major health care policy failure that is Trumpcare, and could prove to be financially burdensome for small businesses. For these reasons, I voted against H.R. 2579.