President Biden’s Build Back Better framework released last week, if passed, would “deliver health care coverage through Affordable Care Act premium tax credits to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have locked them out of Medicaid.” This includes close to half a million Floridians who currently earn income below the poverty level, but still do not qualify for Medicaid in our state.
For Floridians, this has been a long time in the making and is much needed. Under Florida’s current Medicaid program, parents who earn as little as $7,000 a year for a family of three have not been eligible for any health coverage. And adults who don’t have children have not qualified for Medicaid, no matter how little they make. So until now, for these Floridians to obtain health insurance, they would have to pay full price in the private market, which could be more than they earn in a year.
Using this framework, the House Rules Committee unveiled a compromise reconciliation bill which includes numerous other provisions that dramatically strengthen health coverage and access for low-income children and families.
Here’s a list of other health care priorities that made the cut in the proposed $1.75T package:
Advance Premium Tax Credit expansion extension through 2025;
Expanded federal Marketplace eligibility for people in non-expansion states (to close the Medicaid coverage gap) through 2025;
Mandatory 12-month postpartum coverage through Medicaid;
States will have the option to provide Medicaid coverage for folks leaving prison or jail 30 days pre-release;
$150B investment in Home and Community Based Services; and
Permanent Children’s Health Insurance Program extension, and continuous eligibility for children for one year.
There will also be an expansion of Medicare benefits to cover hearing, and while there is no paid leave, there is a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit included in the bill.
The goal now is to get this package over the finish line. The House is expected to vote on passage as early as Friday followed by a Senate vote next week. You can help by calling and emailing your members of Congress today and ask others to do the same. You can also tweet at members of Congress or tag them in social media posts using #BuildBackBetterNow.