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Biden to urge Congress to lower health care costs during New Hampshire visit

President Biden on Monday will travel to New Hampshire, where he will call on Congress to take three specific actions to lower health care costs for Americans.

Biden will seek to draw a contrast between his proposals to reduce health care costs for Americans and GOP proposals to reduce benefits and repeal the Affordable Care Act, a White House official said.

While in Manchester, N.H., Biden will call for Congress to take action on three items he first laid out during his State of the Union address last week.

Biden will propose extending Medicare’s $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket drug costs to people with commercial insurance, a White House official said, and he will ask lawmakers to extend a $35-per-month cost cap for insulin to the commercial market. 

There are bipartisan Senate bills that would accomplish that, but they have not been brought to the floor since they were introduced nearly two years ago.  

Biden will also call on Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for at least 50 drugs per year. Medicare will eventually be able to negotiate the prices of 20 drugs under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The proposals would represent a major expansion of the Inflation Reduction Act. While the law was sweeping, many of its biggest health provisions only apply to Medicare rather than the commercial market, because Democrats had to scale it back in order to pass it through the Senate. 

Biden will also urge Congress to make permanent improvements to the Affordable Care Act that are set to expire in the fall of 2025.

The president used his State of the Union address last week to lay out his vision for a second term and tout the benefits of legislation passed during his first three years in office. He has vowed to veto any Republican efforts to cut Medicare or Social Security.

Former President Trump, who will likely be Biden’s opponent in November, has said publicly he would not change Social Security and Medicare, though his budget proposals while he was in office included cuts to the programs.

And Trump has revived his calls for Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, with an alternative. Republicans pushed to get rid of Obamacare during Trump’s first-term, but ultimately failed to do so when the party controlled both chambers of Congress.

Biden’s trip to New Hampshire comes amid a travel blitz following his State of the Union speech. He spent Friday in Pennsylvania and Saturday in Georgia and will head to Michigan and Wisconsin later in the week.

Biden won New Hampshire in 2020 by roughly 60,000 votes.

Source: The Hill

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