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ROUNDUP: Senate Passes Groundbreaking Budget Resolution, Setting Stage To Transform American Health Care

By August 11, 2021No Comments

Senate Democrats have taken a bold step to lower the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance premiums, and expand benefits and coverage so millions of Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. Today’s passage of the budget resolution delivers on the promise of President Biden and Democrats in Congress to expand Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits, lower the cost of premiums for those purchasing their health coverage on the ACA, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and lowering prescription drug prices. Americans have spoken and President Biden and Congressional Democrats have listened. This moment marks significant progress in achieving the cost reductions and expanded benefits Americans have long sought. 

New York Times: Senate Passes $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan, Advancing Sweeping Safety Net Expansion. “The budget resolution will ultimately allow Democrats to use the fast-track budget reconciliation process to shield the legislation from a Republican filibuster. It will pave the way to expand Medicare to include dental, health and vision benefits.” [8/11/21]

Wall Street Journal: Senate Passes Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Budget Blueprint. “Senate Democrats on the Budget Committee agreed last month to spend roughly $3.5 trillion on a package, whose framework was fleshed out Monday. The plan is set to expand the safety net by offering a federal paid-leave benefit, universal prekindergarten, two free years of community college and expanded Medicare to cover hearing, dental and vision care, among other provisions.” [8/11/21]

Washington Post: Senate Democrats Adopt Sweeping $3.5 Trillion Budget That Opens The Door To Health, Education And Tax Reforms. “Hours after the Senate advanced a bipartisan bill to improve the nation’s infrastructure, Democrats forged ahead independently on a second front — adopting a $3.5 trillion budget that could enable sweeping changes to the nation’s health care, education and tax laws…Chiefly written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the $3.5 trillion blueprint sets in motion Democrats’ plans to expand Medicare, combat climate change and boost federal safety net programs.” [8/11/21]

Associated Press: Senate OKs Dems’ $3.5T Budget In Latest Win For Biden. “Medicare would add dental, hearing and vision benefits, and tax credits and grants would prod utilities and industries to embrace clean energy. Child tax credits beefed up for the pandemic would be extended, along with federal subsidies for health insurance. Besides higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, Democrats envision savings by letting the government negotiate prices for pharmaceuticals it buys.” [8/11/21]

The Hill: Here Are The Key Parts Of Democrats’ $3.5T Budget Resolution. “Democrats said the budget will provide funding for a slew of big health care moves, from adding Medicare benefits to lowering drug prices…Helping pay for it all is ‘hundreds of billions’ of dollars in savings from lowering prescription drug costs, Democrats also said…‘If Democrats are able to accomplish all these goals in the budget resolution released today, it would be the biggest reform of the healthcare system since the Affordable Care Act passed more than a decade ago,’ tweeted Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.” [8/9/21]

Modern Healthcare: Senate Democrats Outline Priorities In Reconciliation Bill. “The committee also may see billions in healthcare savings as a result of plans to lower prices of prescription drugs.” [8/9/21]

Roll Call: Democrats Unveil Blueprint For $3.5T Budget Reconciliation Bill. “The Finance panel will draft provisions including on paid family and medical leave; renewing expanded health insurance exchange subsidies; Medicare expansion to dental, vision and hearing benefits; closing the Medicaid ‘coverage gap’ in states that haven’t expanded their programs; and subsidies for home health care services.” [8/9/21]

Axios: Democrats’ High-Stakes Fight Against Pharma. “The plan includes paid family and medical leave and an expansion of long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. It would also extend the expansion of ACA premium subsidies, fill the Medicaid coverage gap in states that haven’t expanded the program, expand Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision benefits and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.” [8/10/21]

Vox: Biden’s Reconciliation Bill Would Be A Big Fucking Deal. “It’s a health care bill, especially for seniors.” [8/9/21]

CNBC: Senate Approves Framework Of $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan That Would Expand Medicare, Tax Credits And Climate Initiatives. “The resolution seeks to expand paid family and medical leave, make child care more accessible, create universal pre-K and tuition-free community college and extend enhanced household tax credits passed during the coronavirus pandemic. It also recommends lowering the Medicare eligibility age and expanding benefits to include dental, vision and hearing.” [8/11/21]

CNN: What’s In The Senate Reconciliation Package. “The instruction also calls for lowering the price of prescription drugs, saying it will save hundreds of billions of dollars. Democrats have long pushed to reduce drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices.” [8/9/21]

CNBC: Medicare Expansion And A Lower Eligibility Age Are Included In Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan. “‘This would be a very big deal for the Medicare program and Medicare beneficiaries,’ said David Lipschutz, associate director and senior policy attorney for the Center for Medicare Advocacy. ‘If Congress adds [those] benefits, it would fill some major gaps in coverage that the program has had since its inception,’ Lipschutz said. About 62.8 million individuals are enrolled in Medicare, the majority of whom are age 65 and older and rely on it as their primary health insurance.” [8/9/21]