It’s the most wonderful time of the year…at least it is for YTC advocates and parents who are ready for their kids to return to school! This August we have so much to celebrate following a recent spate of policy victories at the federal level.
These wins would not have been possible without the incredibly impactful voices of thousands of YTC advocates. With a unified voice, YTC advocates made their voices heard more than 85,000 times on these issues which are critically important to heart and stroke health across the country. In case you’re curious, we’ve provided a brief summary of some of these wins below. Thank you all for making this possible and for helping us build a world of longer, healthier lives!
Inflation Reduction Act Signed into Law:
This $700 billion economic, health care, and environmental package provides authority for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, sets an annual $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for seniors on prescription drugs and $35 per month out-of-pocket copay cap for insulin, improves access to vaccines for those in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP, and includes one of the largest federal investments in combatting climate change – and as an added bonus – reduces the deficit. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act includes one of the American Heart Association’s top policy priorities to improve access to affordable health care: a three-year extension of premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans. This extension prevents a sharp rise ($800 per month) in health care premiums for more than 12 million Americans and prevents more than 3 million people from losing health care coverage.
Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act Advances:
In late July, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee advanced a child nutrition reauthorization bill out of committee. This bill would strengthen the law to protect science-based nutrition standards for school meals and increase access to health school meals to combat nutrition insecurity. This is a critically important first step in the child nutrition reauthorization process that funds child nutrition programs and helps determine how healthy the food we serve our kids will be. This bill now moves to the full House of Representatives for consideration, and awaits action in the Senate. Despite this incredible victory in the House, it is not guaranteed that the Senate will advance a child nutrition reauthorization – and we need your help once again. You can add your voice to the effort and help set children up for success by contacting your Senators here.
No Surprises Act Final Rule:
The No Surprises Act—a bipartisan law passed in 2020 to prevent most surprise medical bills—took effect on January 1st, 2022. Despite already protecting patients from egregious surprise bills, the law still had to clear the final regulatory hurdle before we could officially say it was safe from efforts to weaken patient protections. We are happy to report that thanks to your efforts the final rule is a strong rule that does not weaken the law, and that millions of patients will continue to be protected from most surprise medical bills! Read more from our press release here.