In this edition of “Explained by KHN” Emmarie Huetteman covers how the $1.9 trillion covid relief law will make health insurance coverage significantly more affordable for millions of people.
A nationwide poll released by KFF also revealed which arguments are most compelling to persuade people to get a shot — and which ones are unlikely to work.
Progressive and conservative Democratic lawmakers, as well as President Joe Biden, are in favor of authorizing federal officials to negotiate with drugmakers over what Medicare pays for at least some of the most expensive brand-name drugs and to base those prices on the drugs’ clinical benefits. Such a measure could put Republicans in the uncomfortable position of opposing an idea that most voters from both parties generally support.
Experts say the two-year expansion of subsidies for most people who buy insurance through the government exchanges would be among the most significant changes to the affordability of private insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Agreement between the president and Republican senators on funding for basic public health matters such as vaccine distribution and covid testing was an easy target. That money can’t move out, though, until accord is reached on some of the president’s big-ticket economic plans.
Lawmakers answered pleas from strained health facilities in rural areas, agreed to cover the cost of training more new doctors, sought to strengthen efforts to equalize mental health coverage with that of physical medicine and instructed the federal government to collect data that could be used to rein in high medical bills.
With a majority too small to eliminate the filibuster, Democrats will not have enough votes in the Senate to pass many of their plans without Republicans and will also have only a razor-thin majority in the House. This combination could doom many Democratic health care proposals, like offering Americans a government-sponsored public insurance option, and complicate efforts to pass further pandemic relief.
Con el control del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, tendrán el poder de elegir qué propuestas de salud se votarán en el Congreso. Pero no será tan fácil.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit hard for Troy Muenzer of Chicago. He had a “suspected case” of COVID in the spring, was billed nearly $1,000 after he unsuccessfully sought to get tested for COVID-19 and has been furloughed after the airline he worked for saw a major decline in passengers.
Republican spokespeople for the committees responsible for vetting Health and Human Services nominations said the Senate may not hold hearings on California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the department, until the Senate approves committee assignments for the new Congress. That could delay the start of the process.