Health care law and policy expert Allison Hoffman, Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, offers her perspective on the recently announced $1.75 trillion framework for the Build Back Better Act.
“Today’s release of the Build Back Better framework offers a tremendous step forward for health care and long-term care.”
“The expansion of the Affordable Care Act subsidies until 2025, including to help the lowest-income people in states that have not expanded Medicaid will ensure that many Americans can maintain or get health insurance, with as many as 3 million newly insured.
The framework includes 150 billion dollars in funding for home and community based services, expanding existing Medicaid programs that currently have long waiting lists, and also, importantly, includes provisions for improving working conditions for home care workers. And the framework adds hearing benefits in Medicare, the first major benefits expansion since the addition of prescription drug coverage in 2006.
There are some predictable disappointments. Medicare dental and vision benefits were dropped, bending to strong resistance from the American Dental Association and private Medicare Advantage plans that use these benefits to lure people away from traditional Medicare. And negotiation of prescription drug prices, a top priority among Americans, fell once again to the pressure of PhRMA, the well-funded lobbying group for the pharmaceutical industry.
The legislative language is still in development, and progressive Democrats are, as of now, withholding support until that language is released, which means that this framework — although a huge step forward — is still several steps away from becoming law.”