How House Democrats are expanding Medicare and Medicaid to cut prescription drug costs

Washington- New Medicare benefits for older Americans, such as dental care.

Expand Medicaid eligibility for low-income people in Republican-controlled states who have refused to take this step.

And potentially, historic efforts to keep prescription drug prices low – if Democrats in Congress can handle objections from moderates in their party.

The sweeping $ 3.5 trillion budget adjustment package that House Democrats finished sketching out this week will make a big difference to how Americans get medical care.

The proposal stems from President Joe Biden’s “Build Better” policy plan. The Senate is subject to change in the democratic plan of the House. In the Senate, some senators want to change these policies (including providing older people with improved health insurance benefits earlier).

Any plan must pass a procedural summons with the Senator. Senators may decide that the settlement process cannot be used to pass certain clauses of the bill. This procedure allows the bill to pass by a majority vote in an equally divided Senate. In other words, the settlement could reach the president’s office without the support of Republicans.

The medical provisions enshrined in law and their operation are as follows:

Dental, hearing and vision coverage for the elderly

One of the proposals underway in the House of Representatives is to fill the gaps in Medicare coverage. Federal health insurance programs for the elderly and the disabled do not currently cover most dental, hearing or vision care. A service that beneficiaries must currently pay at their own expense or through additional remuneration.

Dentures, hearing aids, eye exams and glasses will be part of the traditional medicare program, as pending legislation adds these benefits.

However, the benefits of dental treatment will not be effective until 2028, a few years after hearing and vision. Some Senate Democrats have objected to the long timeline for integrating dentists into the Medicare program and proposed a voucher program to speed up the transition.

Isn’t that a house bill? Reduced Medicare Eligibility Age

One of the Medicare changes that some Democrats failed was to lower the Medicare enrollment age from the current age of 65 to 60.

That effort was not reflected in House of Representatives legislation, supported by Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent Democrat from Vermont and some college Democrats. It can be added in the Senate, but you might face more serious difficulties in this room.

More access to Medicaid

Another major change is increased health insurance coverage for low-income Americans. This is in part due to the expansion of eligibility in 12 states that have refused to accept federal funding to expand the program.

The 12 states that have refused to meet Medicade eligibility criteria under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (extended to adults with incomes up to 138% of the poverty level) include Wisconsin, Kansas and Tennessee. Includes North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

After 2025, residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid will be able to participate in federally controlled Medicaid programs.

Until the full new federal option comes into effect, the proposal will extend the ACA premium tax credits to people with incomes below the poverty line, making it easier to obtain a claim. health insurance through insurance exchanges.

The proposal also requires the state to begin 30 days before the release of Medicaid compensation for those in prison so that inmates can purchase health insurance upon reintegration into society.

The state should also expand coverage for its Medicaid postnatal program and children’s health insurance one year instead of 60 days after pregnancy ends. The US bailout package, adopted earlier this year, gave the state the flexibility to make changes while regulations demanded.

Controversy over drug price controls

A major challenge in expanding these safety net programs is how to pay for the new costs, part of which is aimed at saving money from overhaul to prescription drug pricing. is.

The proposal allows the federal government to negotiate the prices of hundreds of drugs, including insulin, and penalize drug companies for raising prices faster than inflation. These changes, which are part of another bill, are expected to save HR 3 $ 456 billion over 10 years.

However, the overhaul encountered opposition from a small group of moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives who wanted a narrower approach.

With three Democrats – Congressman Kurt Schrader from Oregon. Scott Peters, California. Kathleen Rice in New York – The Republican Party membership voted against the Energy Commerce Commission’s drug pricing proposal, and the panel got stuck.

The tariff plan was adopted by the Methods and Means Commission, which created another part of the regulatory bill. However, another Democratic vote was lost and D-Fla Rep. Stephanie Murphy opposed it.

“I strongly support many provisions of the Houseways and Means section. Regain better behaviorIn particular, historic provisions to combat the threats of climate change, ”she said in a statement. “But I can’t vote on the bill from the start, because there are also spending and tax provisions that give me a suspension.

“As this process progresses, I am optimistic that the comprehensive settlement package is properly targeted and financially responsible. Pay through tax provisions that promote fairness but do not harm working families. I will do it. “

The battle to keep prescription drug prices low is not yet over. Industry groups representing pharmaceutical companies have been lobbying and promoting proposals for weeks. Some Senate Democrats are skeptical of the drug pricing plans.

How House Democrats are expanding Medicare and Medicaid to cut prescription drug costs

Source link How House Democrats Extend Medicare and Medicaid to Cut Prescription Drug Costs

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