Millions of Americans Will Benefit from Lower Costs, Better Care, Expanded Coverage

On Friday, November 19, House Democrats passed the Build Back Better Act. The landmark legislation includes measures to deliver relief to American families by lowering insurance premiums, giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expanding affordable coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, expanding Medicare benefits to cover hearing, and investing $150 billion in home care for seniors and people with disabilities. Coverage makes clear that Build Back Better’s health care measures will drive down costs for seniors and working families across the country. 

“With Build Back Better, millions of Americans will finally be able to afford the health care they need,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “For far too long, Americans have had to pay too much to see the doctor or get the medications they depend on. Now, once the Senate passes this historic bill, working families, seniors, and parents will pay less for prescription drugs and health insurance, and millions of Americans will gain affordable coverage. While every Republican in the House voted against lowering costs for families, Democrats delivered on their promise to drive down health care costs for all Americans.” 

New York Times: What’s in the $2.2 Trillion Social Policy and Climate Bill. “For the first time, the government would be given the power to regulate the prices of certain prescription drugs. Medicare would be allowed to negotiate directly with drug makers over a subset of expensive drugs in the coming years. And drugmakers would be barred from raising the prices of their medicines by more than the rate of inflation. The drug price provisions are less aggressive than an original House proposal, but still expected to have substantial effects over time.” [New York Times, 11/21/21]

Washington Post: House Passes Roughly $2 Trillion Spending Package That Would Expand Social Benefits And Fight Climate Change. “Targeting health care, the measure offers new Medicare benefits covering hearing services and empowers the government for the first time to negotiate some prescription drug prices, aiming to lower the costs that seniors pay for lifesaving medicines such as insulin.” [Washington Post, 11/19/21]

New York Times: House Narrowly Passes Biden’s Social Safety Net And Climate Bill. “‘Under this dome, for centuries, members of Congress have stood exactly where we stand to pass legislation of extraordinary consequence in our nation’s history and for our nation’s future,’ [Speaker Pelsoi] said, adding, the act ‘will be the pillar of health and financial security in America.’” [New York Times, 11/19/21]

Fierce Healthcare: Here Are The Policies And Reforms That Could Reshape Healthcare In The $2T Bill Just Passed By The House. “The House passed a massive roughly $2 trillion infrastructure package that will give Medicare the power to narrowly negotiate prices on certain prescription drugs and close the Medicaid coverage gap.” [Fierce Healthcare, 11/19/21]

Wall Street Journal: House Passes Roughly $2 Trillion Social Spending And Climate Bill. “Many of the measures in the House product, including expanded subsidies for healthcare premiums, appear on track toward becoming law by the end of the year.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/19/21]

Vox: House Democrats Finally Pass A Massive Social Spending Bill. “Democrats have used the bill to address their long-held policy goal of enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The legislation would allow the federal government to renegotiate how much Medicare pays for 10 drugs in the near term, a change that’s expected to help lower costs significantly — not just for the government, but for all of those who need those medicines — given the leverage that Medicare has.” [Vox, 11/19/21]

AP: Dems Sweeping Social, Climate Bill Passes Divided House. “The 2,100-page bill’s initiatives include bolstering child care assistance, creating free preschool, curbing seniors’ prescription drug costs and increasing efforts to slow climate change. Also included are tax credits to spur clean energy development, bolstered child care assistance and extended tax breaks for millions of families with children, lower-earning workers and people buying private health insurance.” [AP, 11/19/21]

Huffington Post: House Passes Build Back Better Bill. “The $1.7 trillion in spending over 10 years is aimed at lowering the cost of health care, child care and other measures, including another year of monthly payments to parents, universal pre-kindergarten and prescription drug reform.” [Huffington Post, 11/19/21]

USA Today: House Passes Biden’s Build Back Better Bill, Sending Measure With Free Preschool, Climate Initiatives To The Senate. “The legislation was approved on a 220-213 vote clearing a major hurdle for a plan that is the cornerstone of his sweeping domestic agenda to expand the nation’s social safety net, confront climate change, and help Americans bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic….the roughly $2 trillion package of progressive priorities would provide…caps certain drug costs… and provides new hearing benefit for seniors.” [USA Today, 11/19/21]