When the program began half a century ago, backers believed the benefits would expand over time, but politics and concerns about money have stymied most efforts. Now congressional Democrats are looking to add vision, dental and hearing care.
In an interview for KHN’s “What the Health?” podcast, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra says the administration is eager for Congress to make changes to Medicare that will provide more benefits and make more older adults eligible for the program. He also said a priority will be making permanent the enhanced premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans.
The president, one of the last of a disappearing group of politicians who sought moderate compromises on abortion policy, is frustrating supporters. They wanted faster changes in federal rules. But abortion opponents — including Catholic bishops— are also taking him to task.
Justices rule that Republican state officials and individuals did not have standing when they brought a suit arguing that a change in the tax penalty for not having insurance invalidated the historic health care law.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the new head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the administration will focus on getting more people insured and is interested in finding a way to alleviate the gap keeping low-income families in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid from enrolling in Affordable Care Act health plans.
After a year of uncharacteristically being on the same page when it comes to health care, Democratic lawmakers are at loggerheads about what to do next. Most agree the time is ripe to tackle high drug prices. But they divide over whether to take savings from that to move to a ‘Medicare for All’ insurance system, enhance the current Medicare program or strengthen benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
Return to pre-Trump policy is second win of the week for abortion-rights backers.
The little-used Congressional Review Act allows a new administration and Congress to fast-track the repeal of regulations and other executive actions of the previous administration. But neither lawmakers nor the president are making any attempt to use it now.
On health care, President Joe Biden made it clear that combating the covid-19 pandemic will be his top priority. “We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he said. “We will get through this together.”
President Donald Trump made substantial changes to the nation’s health care system using executive branch authority. But reversing policies that Democrats oppose would take time and personnel resources, competing with other priorities of the new administration.