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Epidemic bill fulfills Biden promise to expand Obamacare for two years

WASHINGTON – President Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid bill will fulfill one of his key campaign promises to fill the gaps in the Affordable Care Act and make health insurance available to more than one million middle-class Americans who could not be covered by the original law. ,

The bill, which is likely to be put to a final vote in the House on Wednesday, includes a significant or temporary extension of the health insurance subsidies purchased under the act. Under the changes, the Obama administration’s signature will be a domestic achievement for middle-income families who are not discouraged from buying health care programs in the federal market because they receive high rents and little government assistance.

The changes will take only two years. But for some they will be very significant. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a $ 58,000-a-year-old 64-year-old will have his monthly payments reduced from $ 1,075 to $ 412 as the federal government would cover most of the costs. The bailout includes rich new incentives to capture several protected states (including Texas, Georgia, and Florida) to finally expand Medicaid to those who have a lot of money to fit into the federal health plan for the poor but a lot of private coverage. little: ,

“For people who are eligible but do not buy insurance, it is a financial problem. Increasing subsidies will make prices fall,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy expert at the University of Pennsylvania, who advised Mr. Biden during his transition. According to him, the bill “will cause great damage to the number of vulnerable people.”

But since these provisions last only two years, the aid bill almost guarantees that healthcare will be at the forefront in 2022. In the midterm elections, when Republicans attack the event as a pointless extension of their long-hated health care law. At the same time, some Liberal Democrats may complain that the changes only prove that the patchwork approach to health coverage will never work.

“Obviously it’s improving, but I think that’s not enough given the health crisis we’re in,” said Ro Hanna, a progressive Democrat from California who prefers a single-payer, government-run system. called Medicare for All, passed by Sen. Bermney Sanders, independent of Vermont,, Democratic Left.

“We are in a national health crisis,” Mr Khanna said. “Fifteen million people have simply lost their private health insurance. “It was time for the government to at least say that for the 15 million we had to put on Medicare.”

Mr Biden made it clear to the White House that he was not in favor of Medicare at all, but instead wanted to strengthen and expand the Affordable Care Act. The bill, which is due to arrive at his office on Thursday evening, will do so for a simple time Oval Office. Amendments to the health care bill will affect more than 1.3 million Americans and cost about $ 34 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

New York’s Frank Pallone Jr., who has helped draft a health care bill for more than a decade and chairs the House Energy Committee, called it “the biggest expansion we’ve had since the ACA passed.”

But as a candidate, Mr. Biden promised more – a “public option” – a government-developed program that Americans could choose from in online health law markets that now include only private insurance.

“Biden promised the electorate a public option, it’s a promise he must fulfill,” said Walid Shahid, a spokesman for the Justice Democrats, a liberal group that helped elect Alexandria Occasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats. Regarding the stimulus bill, he said. “I do not think anyone thinks this is Biden’s health plan.”

Just when Mr. Biden or the Democrats would present such a program, it remains unclear,’s transition to an equally divided Senate would be a difficult struggle. White House officials say Mr. Biden wants to bypass the coronavirus bill before setting a more comprehensive domestic policy agenda.

The Affordable Care Act is close to Mr. Biden, who used the explanatory note as a big deal when he was vice president and President Barack Obama signed it in 2010. It has expanded its reach to more than 20 million people. Americans, raising the uninsured interest rate to 10.9 percent in 2019 from 17.8 percent in 2010.

Even so, some 30 million Americans were insured between January and June 2020, according to the National Health Interview. The problem was exacerbated only by the coronavirus epidemic, when thousands, if not millions, of Americans lost their insurance because they lost their jobs.

Mr. Biden has already taken some steps to address this. In January, he ordered the Affordable Care Act to reopen health insurance markets to provide new opportunities for people affected by the epidemic to receive coverage. He has taken steps to restore the coverage mandates that his predecessor has undermined, including protecting those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The incentive bill would provide financial assistance to high-income middle-income Americans with a new entitlement to purchase plans in the federal markets, with payments for those programs costing no more than 8.5 percent of an individual’s adjusted adjusted gross income. It will also increase the subsidy for lower income earners.

White House և Democrats say its health provisions recognize the most substantial extension of the Affordable Care Act, which, unfortunately, is only politically possible. They point out that an equally divided Senate is much less likely to undergo a more fundamental reorganization, such as Medicare for All.

“I understand the desire to really overhaul the system, to make it clearer, but I think there is also a political reality that can be pushed,” said Dr. Emanuel.

Healthcare remains a strong political selling point for Democrat voters, who consistently give back to Democrats by answering the question of which party they trust most to address the issue. Over the past decade, Republicans have spent time in court overturning the Affordable Care Act, trying to repeal it in Congress without success.

“I think that argument has been lost,” said Republican sociologist Whit Ayres, who acknowledged that efforts to repeal it were over, at least for now, when both houses of the White House and Congress are headed by Democrats.

Republicans have always said that their plan is to repeal and replace the health law, but 10 years later they still have to offer a replacement. Mr Ayres said his company was working to “get some alternative health message” that did not mean “just throwing everyone into a government-run health problem”.

However, polls show that the idea of ​​a program implemented by the government is of great interest to voters. In September, the Pew Research Center reported that over the past year, especially among Democrats, there has been an increase in the proportion of Americans who say health insurance should be provided under a single government-led national program.

The poll found that 36 percent of Americans and 54 percent of Democrats prefer a unified national program. Asked if the government was responsible for providing health insurance through either a single national program or a mix of public-private programs, 63 percent of Americans and 88 percent of Democrats said yes.

The debate over “Medicare for All” was a sharp dividing line between the progressive, more major Democrats in 2020. During the elections. Sanders և Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran for office, but lost the nomination to Mr. Biden.

But all of Medicare’s support in the controversial House primary helped push for candidates such as Bow Amal Bowman of New York, Marie Newman of Illinois, and Cory Bush of Missouri. All the incumbent Democratic presidents who failed last year in the primary competitions, which presented the health sector as a major issue.

“I would say there is more momentum for the expansion of Medicare, given the epidemic and the experience that people have,” said the California congressman. Khanna. “They bought time, but I think at some point there will be a discussion about permanent correction.”

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