Last Wednesday, President Biden unveiled his American Families Plan and highlighted the proposal in his remarks before a joint session of Congress. The American Families Plan
centers on “human” infrastructure issues such as childcare, paid leave, nutrition assistance, unemployment insurance, and pre-school and college aid.
The $1.8 trillion dollar proposal would largely be paid for by taxes, through changes to individual tax rates, capital gains rates, carried interest, real estate assessments, and increased IRS audits on high earners. Healthcare interests noted that the plan does not include substantial healthcare proposals aside from a permanent increase in insurance marketplace subsidies. House Democrats had been urging the president to tackle prescription drug prices and lower the Medicare eligibility age – issues that still may generate congressional attention. (While not including it in his proposal, the president in his remarks before Congress did stress the need for action on drug prices.)
The American Family Plan is the final of the three comprehensive proposals President Biden has announced: The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan focused on COVID pandemic aid and was passed on March 11; The $2.7 trillion American Jobs Plan was unveiled by the White House on March 31 and includes the administration’s infrastructure priorities. House and Senate Committees are working on drafting the details behind the proposal and the House has announced it hopes to pass its infrastructure bill by mid-summer; and last week’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.
For hospitals, the state and local aid and other COVID proposals included in the American Rescue Plan were appreciated, but none of these comprehensive plans include additional dollars for the Provider Relief Fund, nor possible revisions or loan forgiveness for the Medicare Advance and Accelerated Loan program – both priorities for hospital advocates.