Readers respond: Make health care subsidies permanent – OregonLive

The coronavirus pandemic underscored how important and reassuring accessible health coverage can be for Americans—and just how devastating the impact can be when the care we need is beyond our financial means.
Congress took action last year when it extended and expanded Affordable Care Act health care subsidies in the American Rescue Plan Act. This vital legislation made more Americans eligible for tax credits and brought millions into the marketplace—helping to reduce the number of uninsured individuals across our nation. In Oregon alone, over 51,000 residents were made newly eligible for tax credits as a direct result of the ARPA subsidy enhancement. This number includes thousands of individuals and families who have often been forgotten or left out of the system in the past—people who could not afford adequate, quality coverage for themselves and their families.
However, ARPA health insurance subsidies are set to expire at the end of the year. Without action from Congress to ensure they are made permanent, thousands of Oregon residents could be forced out of the marketplace as they are no longer able to afford the coverage they need. Every American deserves the security of accessible health care that is affordable. We cannot wait for another crisis to address the problems facing our communities now.
Sen. Ron Wyden has helped lead Oregon through the difficulties of the past several years. We now need him to work with his colleagues in Washington to make ARPA health care subsidies permanent.
Akasha Lawrence Spence, Maxine Dexter and Travis Nelson
Lawrence Spence is a state senator for District 18; Dexter is a state representative for District 33; Nelson is a state representative for District 44. All are Democrats.
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