The House has passed President Biden’s chief bill of legislation for his first term, the Build Back Better Bill, which features all sorts of improvements to citizens’ healthcare and childcare but also other more partisan agenda items, such as assistance for climate change.
As we wait to see if the bill makes it through the Senate, CNN has recently posted 10 things you didn’t know are in the Democrats’ Build Back Better Bill, but before we look at those aspects, let us dive into the basics of the bill.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer has called federal paid family and medical leave, one of the most important planks of the bill, featuring benefits for both newborn and elder care of up to four weeks. Additionally, one of the highly promoted aspects is the universal pre-K as well as an enhanced child tax credit.
Additional facets include continued expansions to the federal subsidies of the Affordable Care Act, continuing to provide millions of Americans with affordable or even free healthcare policies through ACA marketplaces, such as TrueCoverage. Many of these expansions were temporarily put into place as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for COVID-19 and would need to be extended into 2022.
There are several prescription drug coverage elements to the Bill, including a $35 per month cap on insulin costs for both Medicare recipients as well as the privately insured. Insulin, which costs under $10 to manufacture, has recently sky-rocketed to prices as high as $1,000 per month. Beyond insulin, there would be a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs for seniors for all drugs covered under Medicare.
Another aspect of the bill would provide millions of families with funds for lunches over the summer when many poorer students on free breakfast and/or lunch during the school year often suffer. Once again, this is currently a temporary benefit of the pandemic looking to be extended.
Another change in the bill extends Medicaid coverage to new mothers for 12 months postpartum instead of the current 60-day minimum nationwide. Medicaid currently supports more than 42 percent of U.S. births, but maternal mortality remains high in the country, particularly for women of color. This aspect of the bill aims to get approximately three-quarters of a million mothers annually the long-term healthcare they need.
There are even more aspects to the bill you likely did not know, from tax credits for the purchase of an e-bike down to local news stations, read more on CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/07/politics/biden-build-back-better-spending-bill/index.html