It’s Time to Build Back Better…NOW!

by Aurora Basnet


What You Can Do

  • Email or call your state’s representatives and governor’s office to continue and strengthen demands for passing this act! 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many wounds and bruises of our country. It is not without surprise that the healthcare system is one of them. President Biden’s Build Back Better Act seeks to treat these wounds.

The Build Back Better Act (BBBA) was passed on November 19, 2021 by the House of Representatives. The $1.6 trillion budget is intended to provide funding for a range of improvements such as education, housing, paid family and medical leave, climate change, and healthcare. Several healthcare clauses are designed to have remarkable effects on the current healthcare system. 

Foremost, the act will serve to extend the Affordable Care Act in terms of expanding the subsidy changes that eliminate the income eligibility cap and increase the amount of advance premium tax credit for individuals throughout the country[1]. Furthermore, the act seeks to narrow the medicaid coverage gap by allowing people living in states that have not expanded Medicaid to purchase subsidized coverage until 2025 [2]. Lastly, the act will also require states to extend 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP [3]. 

It is apparent that the BBBA would significantly improve healthcare coverage for many Americans. However the legislation is still being stalled in the Senate where its future remains uncertain. Failure to obtain Senate approval would mean that hundreds of thousands of Americans would either lose their coverage or end up paying more for health benefits [2]. Essentially, the agenda of the act makes important investments toward economic stability, family and household wellbeing, and overall better health outcomes. For example, the act would limit childcare costs for families to no more than 7% of income for poor families earning up to 250% of the state median salary in New York. Furthermore, families would continue to receive monthly payments of up to $300 per child if they are eligible via their income. This would mean that the rising costs of food, gas, electricity, and rent/mortgage would be a bit easier for families to deal with. 

It is no-brainer that the Build Back Better Act would be the right step in bolstering the nation in all different sectors after such a difficult few years as a result of the pandemic. However, the bill’s still on thin ice, as there has been months of failed negotiation in the Senate; however Biden is still pushing his message that the bill is soon to be passed, even though some believe that he sounds, “like a salesman without a product” [3]. Nonetheless, it is time for compromise between those in opposing parties and diverging viewpoints to compromise. Akin to the united front in Congress to thwart Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the international strage, let our government show the world that we can also unite on passing a bill for the greater good on our own stage at home. 

REFERENCES

Picture: https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/10/29/USAT/64073de1-7f67-404c-a76a-4c544326100b-AFP_AFP_9QE4JN.jpg?width=660&height=348&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp

[1]     Wilkinson, M., Heap, A. How the build back better act impacts healthcare. How the Build 

Back Better Act Impacts Healthcare – ECG Management Consultants. Retrieved February 19, 2022, from https://www.ecgmc.com/thought-leadership/blog/how-the-build-back-better-act-impacts-healthcare 

[2]     Rapfogel, N., Gee, E., Rosenthal, J., Waldrop, T., Murphy, N. (December 2021) 

The Build Back Better Act Would Improve Health Care and Lower Costs Retrieved February 19, 2022, from https://www.americanprogress.org/article/the-build-back-better-act-would-improve-health-care-and-lower-costs/ 

[3]     Sullivan, Sean., Min Kim, S. (February 2022) Biden still touts Build Back Better, but what does that mean? Retrieved February 19, 2022  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/18/biden-build-back-better-where/