House Passes Build Back Better Act
By: Jennifer Dexter, Director, Policy
On November 19, the House passed the $1.75 Trillion Build Back Better Act after months of negotiation. The bill will now be sent to the Senate where there is expected to be significant negotiation and some potential changes to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) hopes to have the bill passed by late December, and it is expected that the bill will also face one more House vote after the Senate makes changes to the bill. This bill is a significant advancement of social supports, particularly ones affecting social determinants of health.
Some of the specific provisions that are included in the bill that benefit patients are:
- Extending enhanced advance premium tax credits (APTCs) that reduce patients’ health coverage costs until 2025;
- Taking significant steps towards closing the Medicaid coverage gap, a key measure to improve health equity;
- Allowing people with high-cost, employer-sponsored health coverage to access more affordable insurance through the ACA Marketplaces;
- Funding for home and community-based services to better support older adults and people with disabilities;
- Capping Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 with a smoothing mechanism to spread that cost through the year;
- Expanding continuous eligibility in the Medicaid program, helping kids keep their health care coverage; and
- Permanently funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The National Health Council has been engaged in helping shape this bill to meet the needs of patients. We will continue to work with NHC members to advocate for a strong final version of this legislation.