Congress is working to pass a vitally important budget reconciliation bill that would significantly lower health care costs, narrow racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, and ensure everyone in America can lead a healthier life. As President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi have emphasized, this is an historic opportunity to substantially improve health care access and affordability.
Among the many significant policies under consideration for the reconciliation package, four major health care priorities have emerged:
- Reforming prescription drug pricing, including authorizing Medicare to negotiate for fair drug prices.
- Extending the Medicare benefit to cover oral health care, as well as vision and hearing services.
- Improving the affordability of plans in the health insurance Marketplaces.
- Providing federal coverage for people in the “coverage gap” who live in states that didn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).