Congress Endorses Expanded Health Care Benefits in Comprehensive Law

On Friday, Congress passed a major Democrat bill aimed at reducing inflation that would partially reduce health care costs for those enrolled through the Affordable Care and Medicare Act. But while Connecticut lawmakers have praised the federal relief, they are also raising concerns about a proposed rate hike that could affect the plans of thousands of people in the state.

Connecticut Democrats celebrate the “Inflation Cut Act” after more than a year of negotiating a law that has taken many different forms and also includes tax policy reform and climate change provisions. But while Americans may see some tangible benefits in the near future, many health-related programs will have a much slower gradual.

The most immediate benefit is the extension of the Affordable Care Act booster benefits for three years. The boost was created under Democrats’ 2021 federal pandemic relief plan — the US bailout — and was due to expire at the end of 2022. The continuation of financial assistance to Connecticut families is expected to provide about $220 per month in insurance premiums, according to it. To Social Services Commissioner Deidre Gifford.

It will take several years to implement the remaining components of health care. The bill would affect thousands of Connecticut residents registered through the government exchange — Access Health CT — as well as Medicare seniors.

The bill also allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time in history. It will initially apply to 10 drugs starting in 2026, and then the number will increase each year through 2029. The bill will also set OTC drug costs at $2,000 per year starting in 2026. About 19,000 people in Connecticut currently spend more than 2,000 out-of-pocket dollars annually.

Pharmaceutical companies have argued that this will stifle innovation and the creation of new drugs, but Gifford cited a Congressional Budget Office report saying it would not have a “significant impact” on new drugs over the next three decades.

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