by jerry on July 17, 2021
Kaiser Health News reported on some Democratic ambitions to increase healthcare spending. Highlights include adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare, and extending expanding long-term care benefits. While most changes appear to subsidize the cost of health care, part of the plan is to also reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
The plan includes non-healthcare related expenditures and seems to work out to about $3.5 trillion. Democrats are trying to pass this legislation as budget reconciliation, meaning that they do not need to have a super-majority to thwart filibusters. Currently, Democrats hold the slimmest possible majority when including the vice-presidential tie-breaker vote, meaning that the proposal might have to heavily cater to a few senators in order to pass.