Press Release: Doctors for America Response to Build Back Better Provisions

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 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Doctors for America
PO Box 53313
1921 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC  20009-9997

Candy Tai
Digital Communications Strategist
Doctors for America
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C—March 2, 2022. Millions of Americans are counting on Congress to act on the health care provisions of Build Back Better. Doctors for America (DFA) represents more than 20,000 physicians, medical trainees, and public advocates taking care of patients nationwide and we know how critical that access to care issues are. Immediate passage and implementation of the provisions of Build Back Better outlined below are sorely needed, long overdue, and essential steps that can advance the health and well-being of the patients that come into our hospitals and clinics each day.

In particular:

  • For 9 million of our patients, the premium tax credits that were passed as part of the American Rescue Plan – credits that help make health insurance affordable for so many – are set to expire. They need to be extended so that people can continue getting the care that they need.
  • Too many states have not expanded Medicaid coverage to cover more people who need it, despite the obvious moral, economic, and public health cases to do so. Passing legislation to guarantee Medicaid expansion in those states would change the lives of 4 million more.
  • New mothers and their newborn babies are not guaranteed more than 3 months of postpartum health coverage on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – and many states guarantee even less than that. This coverage should be extended to cover the first 12 months postpartum nationwide.
  • Giving Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices not only provides patients with access to prescribed medications, but the savings from lowering these out of reach prices of prescription drugs will allow millions of Americans further access to health care coverage and benefits including hearing.
  • Insulin, a necessity for millions with diabetes and a treatment discovered long ago, is too expensive. No one should have to go without insulin because manufacturers keep its prices too high. It should have its price capped at $35.

Further, the provider shortage and inequities in access to mental health care and resources represents a crisis for America. The United States needs a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck strategy to build the capacity of the mental health care system, connecting more people to mental health care by fostering healthy real-world and virtual environments. We are thrilled to hear President Biden announce just such a strategy in his State of the Union address.

“As Americans look forward to a future beyond the pandemic, it is important that we have a health system that addresses the needs that became crystal clear during Covid. We know that millions of Americans still struggle with access to healthcare, affordability, and access to mental health. The provisions in Build Back Better directly meet those needs that our patients care about. Provisions to expand Medicaid coverage, expand postpartum coverage, and premium tax credits will help many who have been hurt during Covid by ensuring they can access the care they still need. Giving Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices and making insulin affordable lets our patients afford their life saving treatments instead of foregoing them. As the pandemic laid bare, comprehensive access to mental health services is essential if we are to heal our nation. We are excited that President Biden prioritizes these solutions that will make our patient’s lives better. As a country, we have had to fight hard to get through Covid. Let’s make sure we face the future with the tools the American people need to succeed,” shares DFA President and Board Chair, Krishnan Narasimhan, MD.

For more information about Doctors for America, contact our Digital Communications Strategist, Candy Tai, at [email protected]

About Doctors for America

Doctors for America mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation. We are 20,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states in representing all areas of specialization. Our impact areas focus on access to affordable care, community health and prevention, and health justice and equity.  Find out more at doctorsforamerica.org and on Twitter @drsforamerica.

 

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