Community Catalyst Urges for Swift Passage of Reconciliation Package in Senate, Praises Inclusion of ACA Credits and Supports Continued Efforts to Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap
“This package will have an immediate impact on the health and financial wellbeing of millions.” – Emily Stewart of Community Catalyst
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2022
CONTACT: Gena Madow, (802) 345-1191, firstname.lastname@example.org
(BOSTON, MA) – Community Catalyst released the following statement urging for swift passage of the reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The Senate package would make a huge difference for millions of people by driving down the cost of certain prescriptions and keeping health care coverage affordable for families who buy insurance on ACA marketplaces, which recently saw record enrollment. The organization continues its push for Medicaid expansion, praising Senator Warnock’s public commitment to advance efforts to close the gap.
Statement of Community Catalyst Executive Director Emily Stewart on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:
“Everyone agrees that something must be done now about high health care costs. Alongside state and national partners, we urge for swift passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the Senate. These are hard times, and this is an immediate way Congress can offer relief to individuals, families, and communities.
“The reconciliation package before the Senate will have an immediate impact on the health and financial wellbeing of millions of people by bringing down prescription drug prices and reducing the cost of insurance coverage. It comes at a time when families are being forced to choose between buying health insurance, paying down medical debt, or buying household necessities.
“We are also encouraged by Senator Warnock, Baldwin and Ossoff’s continued support for closing the Medicaid coverage gap to bring affordable coverage options to 2.2 million people living in states that have thus far blocked expansion. This is a commonsense way to address the deep inequities and injustices that exist in our current health systems. We look forward to working with these Senators and other Congressional supporters to make this policy law of the land.
“Because of systemic racism, the U.S. health system is entrenched in inequity, and this is one immediate way the Senate can make progress. There is far more to do to create a health system rooted in race equity and health justice, but more affordable, equitable and available health care is something communities want and need now.”
- Extension of Health Insurance Subsidies: Originally set to expire this year, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)’s enhanced premium tax credit subsidies, which have led to record enrollment, will be extended for three years through 2025. These enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies have helped eliminate or reduce health insurance premiums for millions of people – making no-cost health insurance coverage available to people with incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty level and significantly reducing the cost of coverage for all people who get their coverage through ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. While people with low-incomes have seen the biggest coverage gains of any income group, they still have highest uninsured rate and comprise the largest share of uninsured people. This is especially true for Black and brown people, who bear the brunt of long-term systemic racism and discrimination that’s led to inequities in health coverage. The extension of the ARPA premium subsidies is essential to ensuring access to affordable health coverage and reducing some inequities at a time when people across the country face uncertainty about being able to pay for the care they need. Along with the Biden administration’s proposal to fix the “Family Glitch,” this provision will help make affordable health coverage available to millions of children and families.
- Prescription Drug Reform & Vaccine Access: The prescription drug reforms in this bill are estimated to save $288 billion over ten years and reduce the cost of life saving drugs for millions of people. Among the bill’s most popular provisions is the requirement that the federal government to negotiate prices on some of the most expensive drugs covered by Medicare, which is widely supported by people across the political spectrum. The bill would also limit annual price increases on prescription drugs for Medicare and private insurance, imposing rebates on drug companies whose prices outpace inflation. In addition, the bill would reduce out-of-pocket costs for Medicare’s prescription drug program (Part D), expand subsidies for low-income beneficiaries, eliminate coinsurance above Medicare Part D’s catastrophic spending threshold starting in 2024, and cap out-of-pocket spending for Part D at $2,000 annually starting in 2025.
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About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state and national advocates to leverage and build power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit http://www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.