(VitalNews.org) – President Joe Biden addressed Congress on Tuesday evening, February 7, to deliver his second State of the Union (SOTU) speech. After discussing the administration’s accomplishments, the commander in chief laid out his vision for how the Republican House and the Executive Branch might work together. Repeatedly, the president talked about expanding on or finalizing previous legislative steps. Yet, Biden made a special request to Congress concerning healthcare: “Let’s finish the job.”
The president referred to working-class Americans. He described how jobs are returning, allowing people to rebuild. Still, Biden said he understood some people worried about current or future healthcare costs, especially for maintenance medications like insulin to treat diabetes. He noted that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 included measures to cap the cost of insulin to $35 or 25% of the cost, whichever is lower, for Medicare and Medicaid patients through 2025.
Biden went on to explain Medicare doesn’t cover millions of diabetic Americans who require insulin, including more than 200,000 young adults with Type I diabetes. The president urged Congress to cap insulin costs at $35 per month for every American who must use it, possibly referring to the stalled Affordable Insulin Now Act.
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The commander in chief didn’t stop there. He described how the Inflation Reduction Act capped annual out-of-pocket prescription costs at $2000 for seniors and Medicare recipients. Additionally, he said the new law allowed Medicare to negotiate prices, saving money for seniors and the federal government.
Finally, the POTUS stated more than 16 million people enrolled for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A provision in the Inflation Reduction Act reduced premiums by up to $800 annually but will expire after 2025. Once again, Biden asked Congress to “finish the job, make those savings permanent, and expand coverage to those left off Medicaid.” He referred to Americans who no longer qualify for the Medicaid program now that the government has officially declared an end to the three-year national health emergency that caused shutdowns and closures.
Many House conservatives took issue with the costs associated with the Inflation Reduction Act, threatening to repeal the measure once they controlled Congress. The president warned lawmakers he would fight any such attempts.
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