Biden Takes Action To Lower Health Care And Prescription Drug Costs

World News

To mark the start of Medicare Open Enrollment season, President Joe Biden will travel to two cities these days to highlight how seniors can take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act’s cost-saving provisions as they shop for new health insurance plans.

Friday at 6:10 PM ET, Biden will deliver remarks on lowering costs for American families, according to the White House. Saturday, he is scheduled to speak in Portland, Oregon.

The President will also sign an Executive Order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to explore additional actions it can take to lower prescription drug costs.

That includes leveraging the “Innovation Center” at HHS, created by the Affordable Care Act, which has authority to test new ways of paying for Medicare services that improve the quality of care while lowering costs.

Under the Executive Order, HHS will have 90 days to submit a formal report outlining any plans to use the Innovation Center’s authorities to lower drug costs and promote access to innovative drug therapies for Medicare beneficiaries. This action would build on the Inflation Reduction Act’s landmark drug pricing reforms and help provide additional breathing room for American families.

The Inflation Reduction Act aims to tackle the rising health care costs in the United States, which is one of the factors that are driving inflation. Too many Americans face challenges paying for prescription drugs. On average, Americans pay two to three times as much as people in other countries for prescription drugs, and one in four Americans who take prescription drugs struggle to afford their medications, according to the White House.

Nearly three in ten American adults who take prescription drugs say that they have skipped doses, cut pills in half, or not filled prescriptions due to cost.

The Inflation Reduction Act locks in on average $800 per year lower health care premiums for 13 million families, lowers seniors’ prescription drug prices, and caps their out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year.

To further lower health care costs, earlier this week, the Treasury Department took action to fix the so-called “family glitch” rule that was making it harder for families to afford health care coverage for their spouse or child. It is estimated that about 1 million Americans will either gain coverage or see their insurance become more affordable as a result of the new rule.

Starting this January, seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will begin to see the benefits of these cost-saving measures, the White House said in a fact sheet.

During Medicare Open Enrollment – running from October 15 to December 7 – seniors and other beneficiaries will be able to choose drug coverage.

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