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As Medicare and Medicaid Turn 57, Democrats Poised to Pass Historic Reforms That Lower Health Care Costs and Increase Access

By July 29, 2022December 8th, 2022No Comments

Lawmakers should finish the job by adding Medicaid coverage gap to package

WASHINGTON — Ahead of the 57th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs on July 30, Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement on the newly announced Inflation Reduction Act:

As we celebrate the continued benefits of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Congress is poised to build on this success by lowering drug prices and health care premiums for millions across the country. This would be the biggest health care reform since the Affordable Care Act and includes several policies that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support.

More than 150 million people today are able to access the health care they need thanks to Medicare and Medicaid. The Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions improve Medicare by finally enabling negotiations for lower prices on key prescription drugs and by capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors for the first time ever. What’s more, the Inflation Reduction Act stops drug corporations from raising prices faster than inflation, which they have done for well over a decade forcing millions of people to forgo or ration medicines because they can’t afford them. The bill also helps over 13 million people afford Affordable Care Act plans during a time when too many people are feeling the squeeze of inflation in their household budgets. And, although it’s not clear whether closing the Medicaid coverage gap will be in the final package, we urge Democratic leaders to continue fighting to give people in the twelve states that have not expanded Medicaid a fair opportunity to get the same kind of coverage that people in neighboring states have had access to for years.

This package doesn’t just lower health care costs, it takes meaningful steps to address unfair loopholes in our tax system that cost working taxpayers billions of dollars. The bill restores the IRS’s ability to hold super wealthy tax cheats accountable for paying what they owe rather than allowing them to continue gaming the system and avoid their taxes. It requires big, profitable corporations that pay very little in taxes to at least pay a 15% minimum corporate tax to support the domestic economy that has made them so rich and includes policies that will ensure a more sustainable climate and more opportunity for all.

After years of promises on lowering drug prices, closing tax loopholes and making health care more affordable, Democrats in Congress are poised to deliver. They must not falter now but finish the job they started by closing the Medicaid coverage gap in this package and passing the bill as soon as possible.