President Biden and Democrats in Congress Delivered On Their Promises to Lower Health Care Costs, Reduce Drug Prices, and Improve Care for Families Nationwide
From day one, President Biden has put the health and well-being of Americans first. Since taking office in 2020, President Biden and Congressional Democrats have delivered the most expansive health care reform since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by passing the American Rescue Plan in 2021 and Inflation Reduction Act in 2022. This legislation provided essential relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, drove down drug prices, and extended premium savings for millions of American families. President Biden has also taken executive action to expand affordable coverage, stop surprise billing, strengthen maternal care, and reduce racial, rural, and other disparities in our health care system. As a result, ACA coverage is more affordable than ever before, and the uninsured rate is at an all-time low.
By The Numbers
- A record 16.3 million Americans signed up for health care coverage on the ACA during the 2022-2023 open enrollment season.
- The uninsured rate is at an all-time low of 8 percent.
- Over 91 million people have health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP.
- 13 million Americans with health insurance from an ACA marketplace plan will save an average of $2,400 per family on their premiums thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.
- 49 million Medicare beneficiaries no longer face outrageous price hikes for prescription drugs.
- Seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000 per year beginning in 2025.
- Insulin copays are capped at $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2023.
- 80 of the most expensive prescription drugs will have lower prices because of Medicare negotiations by 2030.
10 Ways Health Care Has Improved Thanks To President Biden And Democrats In Congress
- Reaching Record Levels Of Health Care Coverage. Thanks in large part to the Inflation Reduction Act, the uninsured rate is at an all-time low. A record 16.3 million Americans signed up for health insurance through the ACA marketplaces. The Biden Administration also made historic investments in the Navigator program to help connect more people to coverage, with a focus on outreach to racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural areas, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities. With the enhanced subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and boosted funding for outreach, 3.6 million people enrolled on the marketplace for the first time this year.
- Reducing Premiums For Millions. President Biden eliminated the family glitch, allowing an additional 1 million people to purchase affordable coverage on the ACA marketplaces with premium tax credits. Premium savings under the American Rescue Plan benefitted millions of Americans, with families saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health insurance premiums. The Inflation Reduction Act extended these premium savings for 13 million families, ensuring no one pays more than 8.5 percent of their income on coverage through the ACA. For Americans with Medicare Part D, Democrats have increased the range of full subsidized assistance to individuals with incomes up to 150% above the poverty level, also under the Inflation Reduction Act. This will allow for 417,000 more Americans to have access to full Medicare Part D assistance, helping them afford countless life-saving medications beginning in 2024.
- Lowering Drug Costs For Seniors. Millions of people on Medicare still struggle to pay for life-saving prescriptions. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, when drug companies hike prices faster than that the rate of inflation, they will face a penalty. This will not only save the government billions of dollars, but it will drastically reduce out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Protecting seniors from these drug hikes will also work to reduce the racial inequities in our health system as Black Medicare beneficiaries are nearly twice as likely than white Medicare beneficiaries to stop taking a prescription due to cost. Medicare Part D plans will also be required to offer improved financial protections and cap annual out-of-pocket spending to $2,000 for more than 46.6 million Americans with Medicare Part D.
- Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Lower Prices. The Inflation Reduction Act also finally ended the ban on giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, which will save taxpayers billions of dollars and lower costs for some of the most popular and expensive prescription drugs. By 2030, 80 of the most expensive prescription drugs will have lower prices because of these negotiations.
- Capping Insulin Costs. The outrageous prices of insulin, a drug vital for the survival of 3,429,000 Medicare beneficiaries, have forced 80 percent of Americans with diabetes to take out debt in order to pay for their prescriptions and over 13 percent to skip doses entirely due to high costs. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin prices at no more than $35 for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning in January — saving seniors up to $1,500 annually.
- Ensuring Lifesaving Vaccine Access For Seniors. All Medicare Part D beneficiaries will have access to covered vaccines, such as shingles and Tdap, at no cost starting in 2023. White Americans are nearly twice as likely to have received the shingles vaccine than Black Americans and much of this gap can be traced back to cost and lack of access to this vital form of preventive health care. This provision alone will save seniors hundreds of dollars on their health care costs, keep millions of people healthy, and prevent dangerous complications associated with shingles, and other serious diseases.
- Improving Maternal Health Access. The American Rescue Plan created a pathway to coverage for pregnant Americans, allowing states to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following pregnancy. The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, with 12 percent of maternal deaths occurring between six weeks and one year following delivery, after Medicaid coverage has ended. Maternal mortality disproportionately affects women of color. Birth-related deaths are three times more likely in Black women than their white counterparts and American Indian and Alaska Native women have a maternal mortality rate 2.3 times higher than white women. Today, 37 states and the District of Columbia have extended or plan to extend this coverage to the full 12 months allotted by the American Rescue Plan. Congress extended this option in recent legislation.
- Protecting Health Care For Moms And Kids. Congress recently passed legislation to guarantee 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP once they are enrolled, ensuring millions are not arbitrarily thrown off of their coverage.
- Banning Surprise Billing. The No Surprises Act went into effect January 1, 2022 and prohibits surprise medical bills for out-of-network care that occurs in unexpected or emergency situations. The Biden administration is committed to protecting patients and holding insurers and providers accountable for deceptive billing practices.
- Addressing Affordability To Increase Health Care Access And Advance Equity. The premium savings continued through the Inflation Reduction Act have made more than 65 percent of uninsured Black adults and more than 68 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults eligible for zero-dollar premium plans. Nearly 80 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults and 75 percent of uninsured Black adults can now also access plans for less than $50 a month. The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities estimates the premium savings under the Inflation Reduction Act will cause a sharp decline in the uninsured rate across every racial group, with a projected one in three uninsured Black adults gaining coverage. Additionally, under the Inflation Reduction Act, roughly 65 percent of rural Americans now have access to zero-dollar premium health coverage and more than 76 percent are able to find a plan for less than $50 a month, narrowing the coverage differences significantly between rural and urban America.