(California News Service) Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on the bill, which already has passed the Senate. Anthony Wright, executive director of the Health Access California, said it includes many proposals activists have pursued for years.
"It would allow the government to negotiate down prices for the most expensive drugs," said Wright. "It would cap Medicare costs for medications, and it would require rebates if prices rose greater than the rate of inflation. That would help millions of Californians."
The bill also would extend subsidies from the American Rescue Plan that help people afford health care. Without the extension, Wright said he predicts the average Covered California enrollee would see an 82 percent increase in premiums - a jump of about $1,000 per year.
Bianca Blomquist - California policy director and Northern California outreach director for Small Business Majority - said more than half of people enrolled in ACA-subsidized health plans work for or own a small business, or are self-employed.
"The provisions in this package are crucial for the equitable recovery of small businesses in California," said Blomquist. "And we urge Congress to advance a vote on this legislation quickly."
The American Rescue Plan capped CoveredCA premiums at 8.5 percent of income. That is set to expire at the end of the year unless the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law.