U.S. President Joe Biden talks about COVID-19 vaccinations and the ongoing pandemic response of his administration in the State Dining Room at The White House, Washington, May 4, 2021.
The White House announced Thursday a plan to increase federal health-insurance programs and lower consumer costs as part of President Joe Biden’s larger $1.75 trillion domestic spending package.
According to a White House factsheet, Biden intends to expand Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health insurance programs that provide coverage for the elderly and the poor, as well as the Affordable care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare). The expanded benefits would include hearing benefits for Medicare. His plan would provide tax credits for up to 4,000,000 uninsured Americans living in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
He also plans on reducing premiums by $600 per person for the 9 million people who have ACA coverage.
It was notable that there was no mention made of prescription drug pricing reform. This is a policy both Democrats and Republicans have expressed strong support for in past years. The plan also did not include vision and dental benefits for Medicare beneficiaries.
Here's the plan:
Support the Affordable Care Act to reduce premiums for 9,000,000 Americans. This framework will lower premiums by $600 per person annually for over 9 million Americans who purchase insurance through the AffordableCare Act Marketplace. A family of four with $80,000 annually would save $3,000 per annum (or $246 per monthly) on their health insurance premiums. Experts predict that health insurance will be available to more than 3,000,000 people who otherwise would not have it.
The Affordable Care Act Marketplace will lower the average premium for over 9 million Americans by $600 per person annually. A family of four with $80,000 annually would save $3,000 per annum (or $246 per monthly) on their health insurance premiums. Experts predict that health insurance will be available to more than 3 million people who otherwise would not have it. The gap in Medicaid coverage can be closed, allowing 4 million people who are not insured to get coverage. The Build Back Better framework will provide health care coverage via Affordable Care Act premium tax credits for up to 4,000,000 people who are not eligible for Medicaid. For benchmark coverage, a 40-year-old in the coverage gap would need to pay $450 monthly. This is more than half their income in most cases. Individuals are provided with $0 in premiums. This makes health care more affordable and more accessible.
The Build Back Better framework will provide health care coverage via Affordable Care Act premium tax credit credits. This is for up to 4,000,000 people who are uninsured in states that have excluded them from Medicaid. For benchmark coverage, a 40-year-old in the coverage gap would need to pay $450 monthly. This is more than half their income in most cases. This framework allows individuals to pay $0 per month for health insurance, making it affordable and more accessible. Expand Medicare to include hearing benefits. Only 30% of senior citizens over 70 have ever used hearing aids. So that seniors can get the affordable care they require, the Build Back Better framework will allow Medicare to expand its coverage for hearing services.
Biden will make remarks about the plan at 11:30 AM ET before departing for a week in Europe.
After haggling over the cost of the plan, which threatened to delay the Build Back better agenda, the announcement was made. The caucus was able to agree on a few revenue-raising measures that were primarily targeted at big business and Americans earning more than $400,000 per year.
This report was contributed by Thomas Franck and Christina Wilkie of CNBC.