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President Biden Is Right: Lowering Health Care Costs Fights Inflation and Delivers Relief to Working Families

And the Republican Plan? A Big Fat “No” on Lowering Health Care Costs and a “Yes” on Returning to an Agenda of Repealing Health Care

Today, President Biden will deliver a speech on Democrats’ plans to lower costs amid rising inflation. Between fighting to lower health premiums and prescription drug prices and expanding affordable coverage to working families, Democrats are working tirelessly to lower everyday costs for the American people. The health care provisions in President Biden’s economic plan are among the most efficient and direct ways to put more money in people’s pockets, saving many families thousands of dollars on their annual health care needs. These reforms will give people more breathing room to pay for other necessities like food, child care, and rent, and they will help ensure families are able to access the health care they need. Meanwhile, Republicans have offered zero plans to curb inflation and oppose these reforms that would lower health care costs for millions of Americans. Even worse, Republicans have doubled down on their commitment to repealing lower health care premiums and other protections under the Affordable Care Act. Voters across parties agree: it’s time for Congress to act to lower health care costs now. 

How President Biden’s Agenda Lowers the Cost of Living

  1. Checks Big Pharma’s Greed And Cuts Drug Costs. Over the past 20 years, price increases for brand-name drugs in Medicare Part D have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation. President Biden’s plan stops this predatory practice from Big Pharma by prohibiting drug companies from raising prices faster than the rate of inflation. This cap is essential to stop arbitrary price increases on life saving medications. Additionally, Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs would be capped at $2,000 per year and insulin co-pays for all Americans with insurance would be capped at $35 each month, dramatically lowering the cost of living for millions of Americans.
  2. Cuts Monthly Premiums For Millions Of Americans. In 2021, 14.5 million people signed up for health coverage through an ACA marketplace. This is the highest number of Americans to ever enroll and it is thanks to the premium savings created in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Families are now saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health insurance premiums, with a guaranteed option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income. Previously, families earning just above 400 percent of the federal poverty level spent an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. President Biden’s plan also has eliminated premiums for Americans earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level who buy their coverage on the marketplace. President Biden’s plan is a critical tool in lowering the cost of living, which is exactly why 17 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences authored an open letter in support of President Biden’s plan and urged its passage. 
    • Reduces Racial Disparities In Health Coverage. The premium savings provided in the American Rescue Plan have made more than 65 percent of uninsured Black adults eligible for zero dollar premium plans and 75 percent eligible for plans less than $50 a month. For uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults, now more than 68 percent are eligible for zero dollar premium plans and nearly 80 percent can access plans for less than $50 a month. Health coverage access is imperative to reducing the racial wealth gap and racial disparities in health coverage.
    • Cuts Costs For Rural America. Thanks to the ARP, roughly 65 percent of rural Americans can access 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 between rural and urban America, giving rural Americans some much needed financial breathing room.
  3. Closes The Medicaid Gap And Cuts Medical Debt. President Biden’s plan would allow more than two million Americans currently trapped in the Medicaid coverage gap to access zero dollar premium health coverage. Of those currently in the coverage gap, 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. Medicaid expansion under the ACA caused a significant reduction in poverty and reduced income inequality across the board by more than 5 percent. In states that have expanded Medicaid, the chance of accruing medical debt is 20 percent lower than non-expansion states and, a 2018 analysis found that Medicaid expansion led to a nearly $6 billion decline in unpaid medical bills and to higher credit scores.