Vice President Harris explains how to rebuild better cuts health care costs, announces 2.5 million Americans purchased health insurance by August 15 deadline
Like President Biden, Vice President Harris believes health care is a right, not a privilege. Together, they pledged to ensure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care and the peace of mind that health insurance brings. As part of that promise, just weeks after taking office, the Biden-Harris administration opened a special enrollment period through HealthCare.gov to offer all Americans the option of purchasing health insurance.
Today at an event at Unity Health Care’s Brentwood Health Center in Washington DC, Vice President Harris announces that 2.5 million people recently purchased health insurance during the special enrollment period 2021 as she delivers remarks on how the Build Back Better program will cut healthcare costs for Americans. These are millions more people who can now rest knowing they are covered, joining the more than 30 million people who have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With six days remaining in the special enrollment period, Vice President Harris encourages all Americans who need access to affordable, quality health insurance to visit HealthCare.gov to purchase coverage by the deadline. August 15th.
Health insurance is now more affordable than ever thanks to the American Rescue Plan. As a result of the law’s improved tax credits, nine million Americans who purchase their coverage through the Affordable Care Act have lower premiums, saving families an average of $ 40 per person and per month, or nearly $ 2,000 per year for a typical family of four. As of April 1, more than a third of new and returning HealthCare.gov customers have found a quality plan with a premium of $ 10 or less per month, and former HealthCare.gov customers have seen their premiums decrease, on average, by 40%.
This success is why it’s so essential to shift the Build Back Better agenda through fiscal reconciliation – to ensure that Americans can continue to enjoy these savings.
The Build Back Better program will extend enhanced tax credits that reduce premiums. These lower costs have enabled more than 2.5 million people to purchase coverage since this administration began. Extending these reduced premiums will allow nine million people to continue to save hundreds of dollars a year on their premiums, and four million uninsured people will benefit from coverage. In an age when health care costs are too high, extending the improved ACA tax credits is of crucial importance for families.
- There is an urgent need to adopt the Build Back Better program.
The US bailout premium cuts have provided a vital lifeline for millions of people and have supported our work to enroll consumers to this day. We cannot let this crucial aid end. If it expires, millions of Americans will see their premiums increase. On average, premiums would almost double, and some Americans (especially those in their 50s and 60s) could see their premiums increase by several thousand dollars a year. It is not fair ; Americans should be able to continue to rely on the lower premiums available today.
President Biden and Vice President Harris pledged to build on this progress through the Build Back Better program, which will expand these efforts and make healthcare more accessible and affordable. Specifically, the President’s Build It Better program includes:
- Expand health insurance coverage.
Today, Medicare does not cover dental, vision or hearing services, with a few exceptions. Many beneficiaries have to pay out of pocket, often costing them thousands of dollars a year. Americans who can’t afford it are forced to do without these essential services instead. That’s why it’s critical that we add comprehensive dental, vision and hearing services to Medicare, so that all beneficiaries have affordable access to these vital health services.
- Reduce prescription drug costs.
For all other types of health care services, Medicare strives to obtain the best prices for American seniors. But for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – Medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating for the best deal. Medicare should be able to negotiate the prices it pays for prescription drugs, and drug companies that raise prices faster than inflation should pay a penalty. We also need to cap the amount Medicare beneficiaries have to pay out of pocket for drugs each year, so seniors with expensive drugs can always make ends meet.
- Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap.
The Affordable Care Act created new avenues for health coverage by expanding Medicaid. Yet nearly 4 million people cannot be covered because they live in states that refuse to extend Medicaid. The Biden-Harris administration believes people deserve the peace of mind that health insurance provides, which is why we need to close the Medicaid gap by providing federally administered coverage to people in states that refuse to develop and therefore cannot be covered. through no fault of their own.
The Biden-Harris administration continues to do everything possible to make high-quality health care more affordable and accessible. By reducing health care costs, expanding access to coverage, and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drugs, Congress can do its part to reduce costs and ensure the health and financial security of the American people. .