ACP Action Alert: Urge Your Senators to Support Key Health Policies in Reconciliation Bill
Last week, key negotiators in the U.S. Senate announced an agreement on a broad budget reconciliation package that includes many of ACP’s priorities for improving health and access to care. The legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376), would extend Affordable Care Act subsidies through 2025, allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with manufacturers, cap out-of-pocket drug costs, reduce carbon pollution, and advance clean energy solutions, among other things. In a statement and subsequent letter to Senate leaders after the legislation was released, ACP expressed its support for the above-named policies and urged inclusion of other measures to help reduce the cost of vital medications, such as insulin. Because of the expansive scope of the legislation, which impacts virtually every federal agency, ACP does not have sufficient policy to endorse the entire bill, but we are very pleased with many of its health-related provisions that will be a big win for patients.
This agreement on a reconciliation package is the culmination of months of negotiations, brokered by key players in the Senate. It is probable but not certain that the package has enough votes to pass in the Senate. As the Senate begins deliberations on the legislation this week, ACP will continue to voice its support for key policies in the bill, such as those noted below, that will have a positive impact on patients and access to care. We urge AIMn members to engage with us in this effort.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes, among others, the following ACP-supported policies:
- Tax Credits for Health Coverage: Congress enacted legislation last year to expand eligibility for and increase the amount of premium tax credits to purchase coverage through the Affordable Care Act until Dec. 31, 2022. The reconciliation bill would extend those subsides for three additional years through 2025.
- Medicare Negotiation of Drug Prices: The federal government does not currently have the authority to negotiate lower drugs prices under Medicare with manufacturers. Beginning in 2023, the reconciliation bill would allow HHS to negotiate lower drug prices on a narrow set of the most expensive drugs.
- Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs: There is currently no cap on spending for prescription drugs seniors buy from pharmacies. The reconciliation bill caps Medicare patients’ out of pocket costs at $2,000 per year, with the option to break that amount into affordable monthly payments.
- Climate Change Mitigation: The effects of climate change on the health of all Americans are taking a daily toll. Through grants and tax credits, the reconciliation bill provides billions in initiatives to reduce emissions from electricity production, transportation, industrial manufacturing, buildings, and agriculture.
Action Requested: The Senate is expected to begin debate on this legislation in the coming days so please call your senators today and urge them to support the above health policies in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (H.R. 5376). A sample call script has been provided for your convenience. Simply follow the prompts below.