The New York Times: Democrats’ Bill Would Go Far Toward ‘Patching the Holes’ in Health Coverage

The Build Back Better Act, passed by House Democrats last month, will help expand affordable, quality health care to millions of Americans. As part of the Build Back Better Agenda championed by President Biden and Congressional Democrats, the Build Back Better Act will improve health outcomes, address historic racial health disparities, and build financial stability for working families across the country by reducing their medical costs.

This hasn’t escaped the notice of the New York Times, who recently wrote that “[the] Democrats’ Bill Would Go Far Toward ‘Patching the Holes’ in Health Coverage” ⬇️

An estimated 3.4 million Americans would gain health insurance as a result of the legislation, which passed the House last month. The bill would expand health care access for children, make insurance more affordable for working-age adults and improve Medicare benefits for the disabled and older Americans. ‘This is a moment of extraordinary opportunity for improving health policy and improving the health coverage that people get,’ said Stan Dorn, director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation at the advocacy group Families USA.”

Other highlights of the House-passed bill featured in the article:

Providing Medicaid to New Mothers for a Year
  • “The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and about 12 percent of such deaths happen more than six weeks after delivery. A lack of insurance may play a role…the social policy bill would provide Medicaid to new mothers for a full year after delivery instead of just two months, allowing more time to address postpartum medical issues that can surface later.”
Erasing the ‘Coverage Gap’ for Poor Adults
  • “The social policy bill would close the so-called Medicaid coverage gap by offering an estimated 2.2 million low-income adults… free private insurance.”
Providing Premium Subsidies to Middle-Class Americans
  • “During the pandemic, Congress has temporarily increased the premium subsidies provided under the health law…the temporary boost in subsidies extends up and down the income spectrum, lowering the cost of insurance for almost everyone who buys it through the Obamacare marketplaces. The social policy bill would keep it in place until the end of 2025.”
  • “Since the new subsidies were introduced, along with a big advertising push, an additional 2.8 million people have enrolled in coverage.”
Capping How Much Medicare Recipients Spend on Drugs
  • “There is currently no limit on how much Medicare recipients can be expected to pay out of pocket for their drugs, a situation that leaves some who take expensive medicines with annual bills of $15,000 or more… but for the 2.5 million beneficiaries who spend more than $2,000 a year on their drugs, Medicare would pay all their costs above that amount under the bill.”
  • “The legislation would also cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 a month. That change alone could affect the more than three million Medicare beneficiaries who take the drug to manage their diabetes.”
Hearing Aids for Older Americans
  • “The House-passed bill would add coverage of hearing services to Medicare beginning in 2023. Audiology services, including counseling for hearing aids, would be reimbursed, and the devices themselves would be covered for people with ‘profound or severe hearing loss.’”