For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Rachel Linn Gish, Director of Communications, Health Access California, email@example.com, 916-532-2128 (cell)
NEW DATA RELEASED ON HOW MANY SACRAMENTANS WOULD BETTER AFFORD COVERAGE & CARE WITH THE FEDERAL “BUILD BACK BETTER” BILL
Beyond the process and timing of the Build Back Better act in Congress, new factsheet show what’s at stake for Sacramento County’s health
Advocates urge and appreciate support from Sacramento Reps. Matsui, Bera, and others
SACRAMENTO, CA – Health Access California today released new data on the regional impacts of the proposed federal Build Back Better bill on Sacramento’s health care as Congress continues to negotiate a final deal. The new data includes how many in Sacramento County would benefit from improved Medicare benefits and extended ACA affordability assistance, and how much local residents might save from these and other reforms, including efforts to negotiate and lower prescription drug prices.
Alongside statewide and other regional analyses on Health Access’ website, the Sacramento County fact sheet can be found here: Build Back Better: What’s at Stake for Sacramento County’s Health.
In a virtual event earlier today, Health Access, along with local Sacramento leaders and advocates, including Congressmember Doris Matsui, discussed how those in Sacramento County would be affected by Build Back Better proposal and its health care provisions. California’s congressmembers are a key voting bloc on these important reforms. Sacramento County is largely represented by Congressmember Matsui, as well as Congressmember Bera, with portions also represented by Congressmember John Garamendi and Congressmember Jerry McNerney.
“Right now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make transformative investments in our kids, our grandkids, and American families,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “The Build Back Better Agenda seeks to unlock tools and create comprehensive solutions to help us close the coverage gap and make health care more affordable. Now is the time to Build Back Better and provide a blueprint for our nation’s future.”
“In all the back and forth on process and procedure, what’s been lost in the discussion of the Build Back Better bill is the big benefit it will provide patients and our public health in general,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California. “Under the federal budget plan, millions of Californians, and tens of thousands in Sacramento County, could see substantial savings in their needed medications, families that could keep affordable health care coverage in Covered California, and older Californians who could finally get vision and dental benefits in Medicare.”
The new regional data identifies what those in Sacramento County could gain – or lose – in the Build Back Better proposal in three key areas:
- Lower Prescription Drug Costs: Sacramento County residents could save as much as $260 million in prescription drug costs in just one year.
- Keeping Covered California Affordable: The American Rescue Plan provides $132 million annually for financial help to those in Sacramento County who are enrolled in Covered California. Without continued major funding from Congress, over 54,000 in Sacramento County could see increases in their insurance premiums on average of $1,000 per person annually.
- Vision and Dental Benefits in Medicare: There are over 260,000 Medicare enrollees in Sacramento County and twenty percent of residents over the age of 65 report they have not seen a dentist in the past year or never at all. If vision and dental benefits are included in the Build Back Better bill, it would ensure many older Sacramento area adults can access basic care to improve their overall health and quality of life.
“If these major investments are made, this would be the most dramatic improvement in health care since the Affordable Care Act, benefiting millions of Californians and those in the Sacramento area,” said Wright. “Especially in our high cost-of-living state, we appreciate the support from Sacramento Congressional members, including Congressmember Matsui and Congressmember Bera, to help health care consumers to lower their health care costs and provide improved access to care to the system we all rely on.”
The Sacramento County data released today follows the release of Health Access factsheets on Build Back Better’s impacts in the Central Valley and San Diego County, as well as statewide. Data on Orange County is forthcoming.