Health Advocates Press for Passage of Build Back Better Act
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Congress still is debating the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, and groups that fight for better health care are pressing for passage.
Notably, the bill would authorize the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare, to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and extend those prices to private insurers, so everyone could benefit.
Yvette Brisco, a Central Valley health advocate and multiple sclerosis patient, said the change could save California consumers $6.4 billion per year.
"Prescription drug prices should not be the thing that makes you choose between whether or not you eat and whether or not you get help," Brisco asserted.
The bill could also expand Medicare to cover dental and vision care for millions of older Americans.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., from Fresno, said the current system leads to a lot of suffering.
"The high prices force people to ration or stop taking their medications," Costa observed. "[It] results in serious, serious health implications."
The American Rescue Plan provides $1.4 billion a year to help people pay for plans on the Covered California marketplace. The Build Back Better bill could extend those subsidies.
Mark Herbert with the California Small Business Majority noted half of the people on the Covered California marketplace work for small businesses or are self-employed.
"Extending those subsidies to allow business owners to still access affordable insurance is really critical," Herbert contended.
The nonprofit Health Access estimates without major funding in the Build Back Better bill, more than 1.4 million people on Covered California plans could see their premiums rise by up to $1,000 a year.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …
Health and Wellness
BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …
OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …
CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …
BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …
PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …
ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …