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United States of Care Encouraged by Forward Progress on Health Care Provisions in Reconciliation Bill

Published On July 21, 2022

Legislation would lower drug prices for Medicare recipients while saving the federal government money and extend subsidies for coverage under Affordable Care Act plans

Washington, D.C. — United States of Care is encouraged to see the progress by Senate leadership and key legislators toward reconciliation legislation that addresses some of the most pressing issues in health care. 

Those issues include the high cost of prescription drugs and the urgent need to avoid a rollback on tax subsidies for people purchasing marketplace coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The timing couldn’t be more critical to pass health care legislation focused on affordability — especially as millions of people across the nation face rapidly rising prices for household staples, medications, and other essentials. 

The proposed legislation takes an historic step that allows Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs for beneficiaries, while penalizing drug companies that raise the price of prescription drugs faster than inflation. In addition, the legislation would cap the total amount beneficiaries need to pay out of pocket for their prescriptions.

Importantly, the proposal extends existing tax subsidies that millions of people have received allowing them to afford coverage under ACA plans. Failure to extend these subsidies would lead to massive coverage losses at a time when families are already under significant financial pressure due to the rise in inflation. These subsidies have given people peace of mind and helped them afford and depend on their coverage throughout the deadly, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over and over again, we see that overall cost is people’s top concern when it comes to health care. Action to reduce prescription costs and give people certainty they can afford essential care is a long overdue step and important precursor for federal progress toward building a health system that is actually affordable and truly works for people,” said Natalie Davis, CEO and co-founder of United States of Care.

“People are counting on Congress to act now to avert premium increases at a time when people simply cannot afford them and could otherwise be forced to abandon coverage entirely. Extending these subsidies will help millions of people avoid financial hardship, especially those in communities of color and in rural areas. This proposal comes at a critical time and USofCare urges Congress to swiftly advance it to the President’s desk for signature,” Davis continued.

United States of Care continues to pursue solutions that have tangible and sustainable impacts on people across the country. Our research has shown that seven-in-ten voters — in every region of the nation and across a range of political beliefs — view the cost of health care as the single biggest issue facing the health care system today. 

Action to reduce the price of prescription drugs — including provisions to authorize the government to negotiate prescription drug prices — brings people together, supported by 90% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 86% of Republicans. These measures, especially when taken together, are a good start in making health care more affordable, dependable, personalized, and understandable for all. 

About United States of Care

United States of Care is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.