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ROUNDUP: “Big Win” for Health Care in the Inflation Reduction Act

By July 28, 2022No Comments

Democrats Reach Historic Reconciliation Deal that will Lower Health Care Costs to Millions 

Yesterday, the Democrats announced a historic reconciliation deal that will deliver lower health care costs for millions of families. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 lowers health care premiums by extending ACA financial assistance for three years and lowers prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower costs for millions of Americans, caps seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for drugs at $2000 per year, and stops Big Pharma’s egregious annual price hikes. Polling shows how these provisions meet the needs of the American people; over 80% of Americans support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, including over 80 percent of Republicans and independents, and 71% of voters say it’s important to renew Affordable Care Act subsidies, including 68% of independents and 55% of Republicans. Media coverage reinforces how this agreement delivers for the American people and is the biggest step towards equitable health care coverage since the Affordable Care Act. 

COVERAGE

KFF: “How Would the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Senate Reconciliation Proposal Affect Medicare Beneficiaries?” The Senate Finance Committee recently released legislative text to be included in a forthcoming reconciliation bill that includes several provisions to lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and private insurance and reduce drug spending by the federal government…This provision is expected to limit out-of-pocket drug spending growth for people with Medicare and private insurance and put downward pressure on premiums by discouraging drug companies from increasing prices faster than inflation. [KFF, 7/27/22]

Bloomberg Editorial: “New Budget Deal Would Be a Big Win for Congress — And the Country.” The new bargain would also put $64 billion toward extending Covid-era subsidies for Obamacare health insurance, thus helping millions of Americans avoid significant premium increases…The plan would remove a legal prohibition that has long prevented Medicare from bargaining with pharmaceutical companies on behalf of the 49 million Americans in its drug-insurance program. This barrier has kept US drug prices the highest in the world — $1,300 per person per year, on average. [Editorial, Bloomberg, 7/27/22]

Politico: “Biden Thanked Manchin and Schumer for Their Work and Described the Deal as ‘the Action the American People Have Been Waiting For.’” Notably, the legislation also extends Affordable Care Act subsidies through the 2024 election and the first term of Biden’s presidency, taking a big political headache off the table for Democrats. Manchin said that “helps people because you just can’t throw [increases] on them during inflammatory times like this.” In a statement, Biden thanked Manchin and Schumer for their work and described the deal as “the action the American people have been waiting for.” [Politico, 7/27/22]

NPR: The Inflation Reduction Act Will “Continue Expansions To The Affordable Care Act” And “Allow Medicare To Pursue Lower Drug Costs.”  The legislation — called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 — would also continue expansions to the Affordable Care Act that passed during the pandemic though 2025 and allow Medicare to pursue lower drug costs by negotiating directly with drug companies. [NPR, 7/27/22]

Washington Post: The “Spending Package That Aims To Lower Health-Care Costs” “Mark[s] A Massive Potential Breakthrough.” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday reached a deal with Democratic leaders on a spending package that aims to lower health-care costs, combat climate change and reduce the federal deficit, marking a massive potential breakthrough for President Biden’s long-stalled economic agenda. [Washington Post, 7/27/22]