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Health Care Tops List of Ways to Lower Costs for Families in President Biden’s State of the Union Address

By March 2, 2022No Comments

During His Speech, President Biden Put Health Care at the Top of His Priorities, Meeting the Demands of Voters Across the Political Spectrum 

Last night, President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address, where he emphasized the importance of lowering health care costs for working families across the country. President Biden named five common sense policies that will reduce everyday costs for the American people: limiting insulin prices, giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, reducing premium costs, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and investing in maternal health. After a year of significant progress in addressing the cost of health care, President Biden made clear that this is only the beginning, and Democrats will continue to keep lower health care costs at the forefront of their agenda. 

Poll after poll confirms that President Biden’s health care priorities remain overwhelmingly popular among voters of all parties. If passed, these reforms could save families thousands of dollars per year, giving them more breathing room to pay for other essentials like food, rent, and child care. 

  1. Lowering the Cost of Insulin for Millions With Diabetes. For decades, millions of diabetics in this country have had to pay outrageous prices for the medications they need to survive. Even when insulin vials only cost a few dollars to produce, drug companies have hiked the price to hundreds of dollars per month, forcing patients to ration insulin and skip doses altogether — which can have devastating consequences. President Biden is determined to cap insulin out-of-pocket costs to $35 a month for Americans with insurance. This will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they can afford this life saving medication.
  2. Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices. For nearly 20 years, Medicare has been banned from negotiating the price of prescription drugs, and Big Pharma has been able to dictate prices while Americans pay three times more for their medications than people in other countries. President Biden is determined to empower Medicare with the ability to negotiate prices for select drugs purchased at the pharmacy counter and administered at a doctor’s office. As the President stated in his State of the Union address, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been successfully negotiating the price of prescription drugs for years, and there is no reason we cannot accomplish this for Americans on Medicare. 
  3. Lowering The Cost Of Health Coverage. The American Rescue Plan drastically cut health coverage costs across the board, with millions of families on ACA Marketplace plans saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health care premiums. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are dedicated to ensuring these savings are made permanent and no American is ever again forced to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table or ensuring they have health insurance for their family. 
  4. Closing The Medicaid Coverage Gap. There are currently 2.2 million Americans being denied Medicaid coverage, solely because they live in a state that has refused expansion. President Biden is determined to close the coverage gap once and for all and provide quality, stable health coverage to more than two million people, of which 62 percent are in the labor force, 30 percent are parents with children at home, more than 25 percent are essential workers, and 15 percent of adults have a disability. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is the single most important policy to reduce racial inequities in the American health care system, with people of color comprising 60 percent of individuals in the coverage gap.
  5. Investing In Maternal Health. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of the industrialized world, with 2020 seeing yet another rise in maternal mortality for American women, with Black mothers experiencing the highest increases. President Biden is committed to passing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which addresses the root causes of maternal mortality. The Momnibus will provide funding to address social determinants of health, invest in health equity research and practices, and provide health care workers with the necessary tools to confront discriminatory and biased practices. 

Polling:

Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices Remains Top Reason Americans Want President Biden’s Agenda Passed. Four out of the five top priorities are health provisions in President Biden’s agenda. [Navigator, 1/28/22]

  • Drug Price Negotiation. Overall, 79 percent believed empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 92 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 66 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]
  • Insulin Cost Capping. Overall, 78 percent believed capping insulin copays at $35 a month was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 90 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]
  • Lowering Premiums. Overall, 78 percent believed lowering premiums for people purchasing health coverage on their own was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 91 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]

Majority of Americans Continue To Support President Biden’s Plan To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. Overall, 70 percent of registered voters support the Medicare drug price negotiation provision in Build Back Better, including 91 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 48 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/12/22]

Voters From Across Political Spectrum Strongly Support Cutting Prescription Drug Prices By Passing President Biden’s Agenda. “Of the 16 provisions listed in the survey, five of the top six priorities for voters were health measures…Biden’s comments on lowering prescription drug costs will resonate with the entire electorate: 7 in 10 voters back the provision, including 4 in 5 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans.” [Morning Consult/Politico, 12/8/21]

Health Care Remains The Most Important Reason to Pass President Biden’s Agenda. “Top reasons cited as good reasons to pass the plan are lowering health insurance costs, giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, [and] expanding Medicare…” [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]

  • Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Remains High Priority For Passing President Biden’s Agenda. 77 percent believe allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs is a good reason to pass the bill, including 94 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 57 percent of Republicans. [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]
  • Three In Five Americans Believe Passing President Biden’s Agenda Is Urgent. “Intensity of urgency is high – especially among Democrats (91% say it is “urgent”), Black Americans (82%), and Hispanic Americans (74%).” [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]