The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill recently passed by Congress included a two-year expansion of Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage, but a recent report put out by L.E.K. Consulting says further impacts on the U.S. healthcare industry over the course of the Biden administration could be minimal due to legislative changes in Washington.
The bill as passed increases ACA subsidies and would lower payments for nearly 14 million Americans currently enrolled. It also expands Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and provides Medicaid expansion incentives to states that have not yet expanded the program, according to L.E.K. Those provisions are set to expire in two years, which means they'll likely be campaign issues in the 2022 midterm elections.
Democrats narrowly control the Senate, which makes the odds of further legislative action around healthcare a long shot, according to the report. This means major reforms put forth by the Biden campaign, including an ACA public option and extension of Medicare eligibility to age 60, are unlikely to be enacted.
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