While President Biden and Democratic lawmakers fought hard to lower health care costs for Americans, Republicans were fighting to keep health care prices high, increase profits for Big Pharma, and pull one over on the American people going into election season. Now, after voting in unison against the Inflation Reduction Act, these same Republican lawmakers are scrambling to change their message and fight to raise health care costs.
Protect Our Care is continuing to highlight the Inflation Reduction Act’s critical measures to drive down health care costs, reduce prescription drug prices, and combat racial disparities in care. This week, Protect Our Care is focusing on how the bill reduces health care premiums for 13 million families purchasing coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. More information on Protect Our Care’s Inflation Reduction Act theme weeks can be found here.
Republicans Want Millions of Americans to Lose Access to Health Care. Through this legislation, Democratic lawmakers have continued to make sure that no individuals or families making under around $20,000 and $41,000 respectively will have to pay for any premiums. This has opened up the ACA marketplace to millions of low-income Americans and has allowed a record breaking 14.5 million people to have health care through open enrollment. Republicans have on the other hand released a plan that would raise premiums, end Medicaid as we know it, stop health care subsidies, and repeal not only the Inflation Reduction Act, but the American Rescue Plan and the Affordable Care Act. Just repealing the premium subsidies alone would cause over 3 million people to lose coverage entirely.
Republicans Voted For Increased Health Care Costs For Millions of Americans. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, passed by President Biden an Democratic lawmakers, the ACA saw an increase of subsidies lowering health care costs for over 13 million Americans. Previously, premiums would cost the average middle class family around 15 percent of their annual income, but these subsidies put a cap of 8.5 percent. The Inflation Reduction Act extended these subsidies through 2025, allowing Americans to continue saving on average $2,400 a year on health care premiums. Every Republican in Congress voted against extending these subsidies and some have vowed to continue the fight to take away these subsidies, thereby raising premiums by thousands for Americans.
Republicans Want Rural Americans to Pay More for Health Care. The subsidies continued under the Inflation Reduction Act allow over 65 percent of rural Americans to have access to zero dollar premium health coverage, and 76 percent are able to find a plan for less than $50 a month. This will work to significantly lower the economic divide between urban and rural Americans and give millions of people who desperately need it access to quality and affordable health care. Every Republican in Congress voted against this relief for rural Americans.
Republicans Want to Increase Racial Inequities in Health Care. Racial disparities plague the health care system of the United States, but through the subsidies continued under the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden and Democratic lawmakers are taking steps to significantly reduce them. More than 65 percent of uninsured Black adults and 68 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults are eligible for zero dollar premium plans. An even greater 75 percent of uninsured Black adults and nearly 80 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults can access plans for less than $50 a month. Research shows that programs like this, which lower the barriers to access quality and affordable health care, are essential in reducing racial disparities in health. Republicans though would rather spend millions trying to get the Inflation Reduction Act repealed and those responsible for it out of office than allow for more families, no matter their background, to see their health care costs drop across the board.
Republicans Want to Shut Down the Government Instead of Helping American Families. As Congress returns to session there is one thing on the minds of Republicans, repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, and they will do anything to accomplish this. Key leadership in the Republican Senate, like Rick Scott, have already threatened to shut the government down indefinitely until Biden repeals the Inflation Reduction Act. It doesn’t matter that shutting down the government will cost Americans billions of dollars or that if they succeed millions of Americans will see drastically higher premium rates or lose coverage entirely. Whose interests do Republican lawmakers really have in mind with their constant attempts at sabotaging the Inflation Reduction Act, because it certainly isn’t the American people?