Health care must be a top priority in the Build Back Better plan! The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the inequities and shortcomings of our nation’s health care system with communities of color, people with disabilities, people who are older, and people who are low income being hit disproportionately hard.
I am writing today to urge you to make health care more equitable, accessible, and affordable by including these critical health care improvements in the budget reconciliation bill:
- A permanent and comprehensive federal solution for closing the Medicaid “coverage gap” for people in states that refuse to expand the program to low-income uninsured adults.
- A permanent extension of the increase in premium tax credits enacted under the American Rescue Plan.
- Lower prescription drug costs for families by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
- A $400 billion investment in Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) to address the unmet needs of people living with disabilities and of seniors.
- A permanent extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP).
- A requirement for Medicaid and CHIP to cover full benefits for one year for pregnant and post-partum people.
- Expanded Medicare that includes hearing, vision, and dental services.
The cost of health care is continuing to rise faster than wages and inflation, putting quality, affordable coverage out of reach for millions of families. We need you to make bold and robust investments in the health of our communities and our country.