For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, September 13, 2021
Media Contact:
Karissa Hand
Cell: 508-406-8186
Newly released proposals for Build Back Better Act will deliver critical relief on health insurance premium costs for millions
BOSTON – Health Care For All is today applauding House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal for his leadership on newly released proposals for the Build Back Better Act that will make health care more affordable for millions of Americans. The proposals, which will be marked up in the coming days, include several key policies that Health Care For All strongly supports, including permanently extending the more generous health insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and ensuring that no one is erroneously locked out of these subsidies based on unaffordable employer coverage. They also include critical efforts to lower prescription drug costs by enabling Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs and ensure continued postpartum Medicaid coverage is available for a full year nationwide.
“The proposals released by Chairman Neal today will deliver critical relief on health insurance premium costs for millions of Americans,” said Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. “We are glad to see that the additional subsidies temporarily made available under the American Rescue Plan to make coverage more affordable, and based in part on the enhanced coverage already enacted here in Massachusetts, would be made permanent. This will make coverage more affordable for both lower-income families, as well as middle class families who were previously ineligible for subsidies. It will also save Massachusetts money that could help us lead the way in developing even more affordable coverage options.
“Health care affordability is also fundamentally an issue of health equity, and these provisions along with those that will help lower out-of-pocket costs and close the Medicaid coverage gap, will help to reduce disparities in health insurance coverage rates and access to care.
“These proposals also take the vital step of enabling Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, which will also apply to private insurance. This will bring desperately needed relief to seniors and Americans across the country, including here in Massachusetts, who are struggling with the rising cost of prescription drugs. The Medicare drug pricing provision further saves the federal government money that can be reinvested into additional efforts to make health care more affordable.
“The proposals also take bold steps to improve maternal health and address the health disparities experienced by Black and Latinx birthing people by requiring Medicaid programs in all states to offer coverage for a full year postpartum. This will help ensure that pregnant and birthing individuals receive the care they need and don’t lose coverage when they need it most. Massachusetts is already seeking this option under our Medicaid program, and the change can be made permanent in Massachusetts by the state legislature passing​​ An Act relative to expanding equitable access to maternal postpartum care (HB 1297/SB 799).”