Major health legislation recently passed by Congress

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Health provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, recently passed by the United States Congress, will cut the costs of prescription drugs and health insurance for millions of Americans, according to information released by the Joint Economic Committee of Democrats.

The package of legislation aimed to curb inflation and reduce the federal budget deficit as well as overhaul several federal climate, health, and tax programs. According to a statement by the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), the bill includes major health legislation, some of which impact the integrative healthcare community.

The bill extended subsidies set to expire at the end of this year for an additional three years, allowing more individuals to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, according to the IHPC. In addition, the bill increased the number of individuals able to receive assistance with their insurance premium payments.

The legislation also includes programs that allow Medicare to negotiate costs for 10 high-cost drugs beginning in 2026, and 20 drugs by 2029, helping to reduce seniors’ prescription drug payments, according to the IHPC.

In addition to the health provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act, separate healthcare legislation known as the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the IHPC. The bill would extend Medicare coverage for telehealth services until December 21, 2024. The bill will likely be debated by the U.S. Senate in November.