Healthcare & Mental Health

The Biden-Harris Administration and Democrats have continued to build on the strength of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare by increasing access and affordability, expanding support for mental health, eliminating medical debt from credit reports, banning surprise billing, and reducing Medicare Rx drug costs.

 

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

 

  • Hearing aids will now be available online and in retail stores beginning in October 2022 for nearly $3K less than the prescription price.
  • Passed the Inflation Reduction Act which reduces Medicare Rx drugs and healthcare costs despite huge opposition by Big Pharma. (Every Republican voted against it.)
      • For the first time ever, Medicare will be able to negotiate lower Rx drug costs.
      • Medicare Rx drugs will be capped at $2,000 per year.
      • Insulin payments will be capped at $35 per month for Medicare recipients beginning in 2023.
      • Reduced healthcare costs by $800 per year.
  • Passed a $35 cap on insulin in the House. (Blocked by Senate Republicans.)
  • Expanded access to affordable healthcare through the American Rescue Plan. The US now has the highest healthcare insurance coverage rate in history – 92% of Americans are insured.
  • Reduced yearly and monthly healthcare premiums.
  • Extended enrollment into the ACA by an additional 6 months.
  • Expanded Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) postpartum care from 60 days to 12 months postpartum.
  • Removed the “family glitch” for low-income families which prevented hundreds of thousands of families from getting financial assistance to buy ACA coverage because employer coverage was offered to the worker but not to the worker’s family.
  • Eliminated $100B in medical debts from credit reports.
  • Enacted the No Surprises Act of 2022, banning surprise medical billing for emergency and out-of-network costs.
  • Funded Black youth mental health programs.
  • Invested in building the pipeline of Black health care providers.
  • Provided HIV prevention medication for free.
  • Provided new mental health resources for transgender youth.
  • Passed the Safer Communities Act which provides historic funding to address the youth mental health crisis and community violence intervention programs. Here’s a great summary from Sen. Patty Murray.
  • Invested $300M for mental health support in schools, hiring of more social workers and counselors and launched a national suicide hotline (988).
  • See COVID section.

What Have the Biden-Harris Administration and Dems Done?

    • Hearing aids will now be available online and in retail stores beginning in October 2022 for nearly $3K less than the prescription price.
        • After years of lobbying by advocates for the hearing impaired, seniors and veterans, Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order on Competition allows anyone to buy hearing aids over the counter and for much less. This is huge. 75% of seniors with hearing loss don’t have a hearing aid because of the prohibitive cost. Even mild hearing loss among older people can increase social isolation and, studies show, double dementia risk. Hearing loss also affects many veterans and manufacturing workers.
    • Passed the Inflation Reduction Act which reduces Medicare Rx drugs and healthcare costs despite huge opposition by Big Pharma. (Every Republican voted against it.)
        • For the first time ever, Medicare will be able to negotiate lower Rx drug costs – a huge savings for 46M senior citizens and millions of people with disabilities with Medicare.
        • Medicare Rx drugs will be capped at $2,000 per year. 50M seniors and other people with Medicare will have their out of pocket spending for prescription drugs capped at $2K per year – no matter what their drug bills would otherwise be.
        • Insulin payments will be capped at $35 per month for Medicare recipients beginning in 2023.
        • Reduced healthcare costs by $800 per year. 13M Americans, covered under the Affordable Care Act, will see their health insurance premiums reduced by $800.
    • Passed a $35 cap on insulin in the House. (Blocked by Senate Republicans.)
    • Expanded access to affordable healthcare through the American Rescue Plan. The US now has the highest healthcare insurance coverage rate in history – 92% of Americans are insured. And over 5M uninsured Americans gained coverage in 2021, with their premiums lowered or eliminated as a result of the American Rescue Plan.
    • Reduced yearly and monthly healthcare premiums. Under the American Rescue Plan, four out of five consumers can find quality healthcare coverage for under $10 a month. Individuals are also saving an average of $800 per year on annual premiums.
    • Extended enrollment into the ACA. The Biden-Harris Administration extended the ACA enrollment window by an additional 6 months. As a result, 2.8M more Americans have gained access to reliable health coverage through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces.
    • Expanded Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) postpartum care. The American Rescue Plan (ARP) allows states to increase pregnancy-related Medicaid and CHIP coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum. To date, over 250K people have gained coverage through these Medicaid postpartum extensions.
    • Eliminated the “family glitch” for low-income families. President Biden directed the Treasury Department and the IRS to finally put an end to the “family glitch,” which prevented hundreds of thousands of families from getting financial assistance to buy ACA coverage because employer coverage was offered to the worker but not to the worker’s family.
    • Eliminated medical debts from credit reports. Americans have over $100B in medical debt which lowers individual’s credit scores and makes it difficult to get credit cards or take out loans. The Biden-Harris Administration worked with credit agencies to remove medical debt from credit reports.
    • Enacted the No Surprises Act of 2022 banning surprise medical billing for emergency and out-of-network costs. The No Surprises Act protects Americans covered under group and individual health plans from receiving surprise medical bills.
        • It also established new independent resolution processes for disputes between plans and providers, and resolution opportunities for uninsured and self-pay individuals when they receive a medical bill that is substantially greater than the good faith estimate they got from the provider.
    • Funded Black youth mental health programs. HHS’ Office of Minority Health announced $3M in funding for 8 organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of general health and wellness policies for improving Black youth mental health. These awards complement the ongoing work within the SAMHSA funded African American Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, which provides resources and tools to promote greater equity and effectiveness in behavioral health services for African Americans.
    • Invested in building the pipeline of Black health care providers. The Biden-Harris Administration has made a historic $1.5B investment to help grow and diversify the nation’s health care workforce, and bolster equitable health care in the communities that need it most. The investment supports over 22,700 providers—the largest field strength in history for these programs and a record number of skilled doctors, dentists, nurses, and behavioral health providers committed to working in underserved communities.
    • Provided HIV prevention medication for free. Insurance companies are now required to cover PrEP under ACA rules, including doctor’s visits and tests, for free.
    • Provided new mental health resources for transgender youth. In recent months, multiple states have removed critical information about mental health resources for LGBTQIA+ youth from official state websites. In response, HHS released a new website that offers resources for transgender and LGBTQIA+ youth, their parents, and providers. These resources include best practices for affirming an LGBTQIA+ child, and information about suicide prevention services.
    • Passed the Safer Communities Act. SCA provides historic funding to address the youth mental health crisis and community violence intervention programs. Here’s a great summary from Sen. Patty Murray.
    • Invested in mental health in schools. In July 2022, President Biden announced $300M in funding to expand mental health services in schools. The Administration also launched a national suicide hotline (988) to allow individuals having mental health crises to talk to professionals instead of calling law enforcement. The American Rescue Plan also led to the hiring of more social workers and counselors during the pandemic in schools across the country.
    • See COVID section.

LAST UPDATED ON SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2022