Today, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. This $1.9 trillion bill includes historic investment in education, housing, childcare, unemployment relief, direct cash payments to people, and critical improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.
President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. Jamila Perritt responds:
“The American Rescue Plan is much needed relief to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including support for essential reproductive health care.
“The American Rescue Plan contains many important provisions for our patients and the communities we serve including:
- Critical funding for the Title X family planning program;
- Increased funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, testing, and treatment;
- Essential support to address food insecurity as more than 50 million people are struggling to feed their families;
- Emergency funding for housing and rental assistance;
- An additional $300 of federal unemployment insurance benefits.
“The bill also makes historic investments to improve health care coverage by investing nearly $35 billion to ensure coverage on the ACA marketplaces is affordable. It encourages states to finally take action in expanding Medicaid and provides health care coverage for those who lost their work during the pandemic. The bill also includes numerous investments to reduce health inequities, including a change allowing states to provide one-year of postpartum Medicaid Coverage – an important first step to addressing the maternal mortality crisis.
We look forward to our continued partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration to achieve our vision of a world where people can access the care they need regardless of their zip code, income level, or source of insurance.
“Importantly, this bill also recognizes that discriminatory abortion coverage restrictions have no place in critical funding for public health programs. We are pleased that this bill is free from medically unnecessary restrictions and urgent relief can be provided to the communities who need it most.
“While these are wins, we are disappointed that the final bill does not require states to provide one-year of postpartum coverage merely leaving it as an option and does not include a minimum wage increase that would support a living wage and ensure greater economic security for workers, especially workers of color.
“As physician-advocates, we look forward to our continued partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration to achieve our vision of a world where people can access the care they need regardless of their zip code, income level, or source of insurance.”