President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union speech on March 1, 2022. As always, I tuned. I think of it as a sort of pep rally for America. This year I tried to listen to the rebuttal, but Govenor Kim Reynold started out with a litany of complaints, so I tuned out.
I like to look at what’s accomplished compared to what the Democratic Party hoped to do for the nation in their Party Platform. I’m doing this because there’s more going on than we hear and read about.
You might recognize my tables from 2020, when I compared the Party Platforms of each party. Just so I can keep everything straight, I put the information into a simple chart, like I would for corporate goals. This is also the way CoCo’s Individual Education Plans got laid out, too. Pretty easy to understand; I think:
We will______________ by_____________ so that______________ happens.
Think of this as an annual review for President Biden.
Here’s the Democrats’ Plan for achieving universal, affordable, quality healthcare:
|We will||By||So that||Progress|
|Protect, strengthen, and build upon our bedrock health care programs (Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid,Veterans Affairs (VA) system)||Give all Americans the choice to select a high-quality,|
affordable public option through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.
|Private insurers have competition and incentive to provide affordable, quality coverage to every American.||The American Rescue Plan of 2021 gave more people insurance at an affordable price.|
|Help close the persistent racial gap in insurance rates||Expand funding for Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment programs||Every American knows their options for securing quality, affordable coverage.||The American Rescue Plan of 2021 gave more people insurance at an affordable price.|
|Provide health care to lowest-income Americans||Automatically enroll Medicaid eligible adults without premiums, with the option to opt out at any time||Everyone has the health care system the American people have always deserved||Since Medicaid is administered at the state level, implementation of auto-enrollment is a patchwork.|
|Remove barriers to states that seek to experiment with statewide universal health care approaches.||Empowering the states, as laboratories of democracy, to use Affordable Care Act innovation waivers||Everyone has the health care system the American people have always deserved||“1332 waivers” allow states to modify the law as long as they stay true to its goals and consumer protection. For a state-by-state look follow this link.|
|Increase support for dental care, mental health care, and substance use services like medication-assisted treatment, and substance use services||Doubling investments in community health centers and rural health clinics||Rural health clinics keep their doors open||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021appropriated $7,600,000,000 for community health centers.|
|Bring down the cost of prescription drugs||Empowering Medicare to at last be able to negotiate prescription drug prices for all public and private purchasers|
Preventing the price of brand-name and outlier generic drugs from rising faster than the inflation rate
|Americans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies||President Biden called for action on this subject during the 2022 State of the Union.|
This is in the Build Back Better Bill which is stalled in Congress.
|Ensure that effective treatments for chronic health conditions are available at little or no cost.||Capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors||Americans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies||Medicare Advantage plans cap cost at $5000 for HMOs and $8,000 for PPOs.|
|Take on Pharmaceutical Companies||Cracking down on anti-competitive efforts to manipulate the patent system or collude on prices.|
Eliminating tax breaks for prescription drug advertisements.
|Americans do not pay more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced economies||Medicare Advantage plans cap cost at $5000 for HMOs and $8,000 for PPOs.|
|Make it easier for working families to afford high-quality insurance||Ensuring no one pays more than 8.5% of their income in premiums and eliminating the cap on subsidies.||Reduce Healthcare costs||The cost of Healthcare through the Affordable Care Act is improved such that most families save $40/mo and 1/3 of Americans pay $10/month or less. (Click here for the Fact Sheet.)|
|Increase price transparency in the health care system||Outlawing the practice of surprise medical billing|
using antitrust laws to fight against mega-mergers in the hospital, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries
|Reduce Healthcare costs||As a condition of Covid-19 emergency funding, hospitals are banned from surprise medical billing. |
The No Surprise Act of 2022 was passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021.
No evidence found banning mega-mergers.
|Expand and protect Medicare||Fighting efforts to cut Medicare benefits|
Finding financially sustainable policies to
expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing.
|Prevent severe health consequences for Medicare patient||Since Medicaid is administered at the state level, implementation of auto-enrollment is a patchwork. Some Medicare Advantage Plans cover these services.|
|Increase the number of primary care practitioners, registered nurses, dentists, and dental therapists, especially in rural and low-income metropolitan areas||Supporting policies||It’s easier to access preventive and primary health care||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes $47,500,000 in grants for rural areas.|
|Expand access to mental health and substance use treatment||Enforcing the federal|
mental health and substance use disorder parity law
Ensuring that health insurers cover mental health and substance use treatment
|American who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live||President Biden called for action on this subject during his State of the Union speech.|
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes mental health care for pediatric, educators, and healthcare providers.
|Expanding funding for health clinics, especially in rural areas, and increasing access to these services through Medicaid.||Investing in training and hiring more mental health providers, substance use disorder counselors, and peer support counselors||American who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they live||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021appropriated $7,600,000,000 for community health centers.|
The American Rescue Plan also includes grants specific to rural areas.
|Fight the opioid epidemic||Making medication-assisted treatment available to all who need it, and requiring publicly supported health clinics to offer medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction and approved treatments for other substance use disorders||American who needs it should be able to access mental health care or substance use disorder treatment, no matter where they liv||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes language regarding opioid treatment in the community health centers. |
President Biden called for action on this subject during his State of the Union speech.
|Eliminate waiting lists for home and community-based care and the institutional bias within Medicaid||Making investments in building the capacity of the Medicaid system to provide home and community-based services.||Long-term care services and support are expanded||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 increased financial assistance to Medicaid Providers.|
|Help Americans pay for long-term care||Creating a tax credit for informal and family caregivers and increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit||Long-term care services and support are expanded||The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $10,000,000 shall be available to carry out the long- term care ombudsman program|
Additional provisions are included in the Build Back Better bill stalled in congress.
|Improve nursing home staffing and quality standards, strengthen accreditation processes,|
Combat corporate abuses in
|Enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act and fulfilling the promise of the Olmstead v. L.C. decision||Institutional segregation of people with disabilities is eliminated||No specific bills found to support this. The Olmstead v. L.C. decision was instrumental to supporting disabled people living in the community rather than in institutions.|
|Eliminate gaps in insurance rates, access to quality care, and health outcomes||Launching a sustained, government-wide effort tackling the social, economic, and environmental inequities|
Ensuring federal data collection and analysis is adequately funded
|We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities||No specific bills found to support this.|
|Afford access to health care for people living and working across the United States||Expanding the ACA to Dreamers|
Lift the five-year waiting period for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program eligibility for low-income, lawfully present immigrants.
|We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities||Cory Booker introduced a bill, S. 1660: HEAL for Immigrant Families Act of 2021 to address the 5 year waiting period. According to Govetrack.us, his bill has a 4% chance of passing as written.|
|End the HIV/AIDS epidemic||Supporting investments|
under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and the Minority HIV/AIDS Fund
|We eliminate racial, gender, and geographic health inequities||Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-funded organizations may apply for awards of up to $190,000 annually to support innovative interventions to improve health outcomes. The deadline for application is March 11, 2022.|
| Pursue environmental justice and climate justice, including for Indigenous|
peoples and communities
| Investing in clean water and|
wastewater infrastructure, clean energy generation and distribution, and sustainable and regenerative agriculture
|We protect Native American health||The Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act of 2022 includes provisions for all of these subjects. Not all are with the intent of protecting Native American Health.|
|Honor the United States’ trust obligation to Native American communities||Making mandatory and working toward full funding for the Indian Health Service||We protect Native American health||The Build Back Better bill, which is stalled in Congress, includes provisions for Indian Health Services.|
|Provide vital preventive and reproductive health care for millions of women||Restoring federal funding for Planned Parenthood|
Fighting to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and right
Repealing the Hyde Amendment
protecting and codifying Roe v. Wade.
|We secure reproductive health, rights, and justice||Funding was restored in November 2021 by overturning the previous executive order banning funding to clinics that performed abortions.|
President Biden announced he would repeal the Hyde Amendment in 2021.
Susan Colins introduced a bill to codify Roe v. Wade in February 2022. The next step is for the bill to go to committee.
|Save mothers’ lives||Expanding postpartum|
Medicaid coverage to a full year after giving birth, investing in rural maternal health, promoting a diverse perinatal workforce, and implementing implicit bias training for health professionals.
|We protect and promote maternal health||The American Rescue Plan extends Medicaid coverage to a full year after giving birth.|
|Address every dimension of the Black maternal health|
|Supporting policies and approaches that will at least halve our nation’s unacceptably high maternal|
|We protect and promote maternal health||The American Rescue Plan extends Medicaid coverage to a full year after giving birth.|
Funding to support maternal health is included in the stalled Build Back Better bill.
|Restore nondiscrimination protections for|
LGBTQ+ people in health insurance
|Reversing regulations that allow doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to discriminate against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity|
Requiring that federal health plans provide coverage for HIV/AIDS treatment and HIV prevention medications like PrEP and PEP, gender confirmation surgery, and hormone therapy
|We protect LGBTQ+ health||The stalled Build Back Better bill is specifically inclusive of gender identity through nearly every level of the bill.|
In November 2021, President Biden reinstated the Obama-era Title IX Guidances on transgender student rights, which was cancelled by President Trump.
|Ensure healthcare workers have a family-sustained wage, good benefits, access to training and professional development, and the ability to join a union and collectively bargain.||Requiring all employers funded by taxpayer dollars to pay their workers at least $15/hour and protect workers’ rights to organize||We strengthen and support the health care workforce||Federal Employers are required to pay employees $15/hour.|
|Invest in Health Science and Research||Increasing funding for health and medical research and federal grants across agencies|
Increasing the federal investment in
research and development for new medications
|We are at the forefront of scientific research and discover for the benefit of our people, our economy, and our global competitiveness||Funds for research are in the Build Back Better bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2022, and the Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act of 2022.|
|Break down silos and accelerate research into|
cancer and cancer treatments
|Creating an agency with the sole mission of finding new cures and treatments for cancer and other diseases.||We are at the forefront of scientific research and discover for the benefit of our people, our economy, and our global competitiveness||President Biden called for an end to cancer and other diseases in his State of the Union speech. He did not mention creating an agency.|
|Protect the independence and intellectual freedom of scientists|
Shield our scientific
research agencies from future political interference.
|???||We restore the pace of scientific inquiry and America’s standing in the world.||Paul Tonko introduced the Scientific Integrity Act in February 2021. According to GovTrack.us, it has a 4% chance of passing.|
What do you think? Was this enlightening? Or just sort of boring?
Next up: Criminal Justice.
Now that should be interesting. Are you with me?
If you missed my prior State of the Union reviews, here are the links:
That was interesting. And hard. I think I’ll go watch a silly movie now.