“Help is Here” tour highlights how American Rescue Plan lowers health care costs

On Tuesday, on the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, President Biden travelled to Columbus, Ohio, for the “Help Is Here” tour to highlight how the American Rescue Plan will lower health care costs for many families across the country.  The President also announced that his Administration will extend access to HealthCare.gov’s market for subsidized health plans Special Enrollment Period (SEP) until August 15. 

As part of the tour, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra traveled to Carson City, Nevada to visit a health center and speak with Americans who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the Second Gentleman visited a rural hospital in Nebraska to discuss how the American Rescue Plan will make health care more accessible and affordable for families.  
 

Read more about the “Help is Here” tour below: 

President Biden Extends Special Enrollment Period 

AP: Biden expands ‘Obamacare’ by cutting health insurance costs 

“President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday that his $1.9 trillion rescue package would build on the promise of the Affordable Care Act, the hallmark legislation of Barack Obama’s presidency that became law 11 years ago. Biden’s COVID-19 relief law pumps up “Obamacare” premium subsidies to address longstanding problems of affordability, particularly for people with middle-class incomes. More taxpayer assistance means, in effect, that consumers who buy their own policies through HealthCare.gov will pay hundreds of dollars less out of their own pockets.” 

USA Today: Obamacare enrollment period extended beyond May as new insurance subsidies kick in 

The Biden administration is extending for three more months a special opportunity for people to sign up for government-subsidized health insurance through the federally run marketplace. 

Instead of ending May 15, the special enrollment period will run through Aug. 15 to give people more time to take advantage of the expanded subsidies included in the recently passed $1.9 trillion stimulus package.  

“A few clicks and a short conversation and that’s all it takes to start seeing those benefits,” President Joe Biden said during an event in Ohio. “Increased coverage and lower premiums.” 

The savings are available starting April 1.  

CNN: Biden administration announces extension of Affordable Care Act special enrollment by three months 

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is extending the Affordable Care Act special enrollment period by three months to August 15, the Biden administration announced Tuesday. The change will allow Americans more time to take advantage of benefits granted through the Covid relief law — including increased federal subsidies to reduce premiums … The announcement came on the 11th anniversary of the signing of the ACA and as President Joe Biden was visiting Ohio to promote the Covid relief package.” 

NBC News: Biden announces second extension to Obamacare enrollment window 

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he would extend the special enrollment period for Americans to purchase Affordable Care Act health plans by three months, until August 15, as part of his administration’s effort to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Thousands of Americans signed up for ACA coverage, commonly known as Obamacare, during an earlier special enrollment period Biden ordered from Feb. 15 to May 15. The second extension will help new and current enrollees take advantage of the enhanced subsidies included in the Covid-19 relief package that was signed into law earlier this month. 

“When I ran for president, I promised I would build on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act. Just 50 days into my administration, we have delivered on that promise with the American Rescue Plan,” Biden said Tuesday in a speech in Columbus, Ohio. “It does that by making health care more affordable; it means better coverage and lower premiums for millions of Americans.” 

U.S. News & World Report: Biden Extends Health Insurance Marketplace Through Summer 

According to the White House, the move to add three additional months allows people to take advantage of new savings under the American Rescue Plan signed into law earlier this month. The relief package included subsidized health insurance premiums for those making up to 150% of the federal poverty line. People who make up to 400% of the federal poverty line will not have to pay more than 8.5% of their income on premiums, per the bill. The White House also announced that people who became eligible for unemployment compensation during any point in 2021 will be able to take advantage of the premium tax credits beginning in July. 

President Biden in Columbus, Ohio 

Columbus Dispatch: President Joe Biden in Ohio: COVID-19 stimulus boosts health care for Americans 

“President Joe Biden sold the twin pillars of his American Rescue Plan and the Affordable Care Act as forging the way toward making affordable health care a right during remarks Tuesday at the James Cancer Hospital on the Ohio State University campus. Speaking on the 11th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act while he served as vice president to Barack Obama, Biden stressed the steps the relief act takes to expand health care and make insurance coverage more affordable.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: President Joe Biden touts direct payments, expanded Obamacare eligibility in relief bill during Columbus visit 

“President Joe Biden touted his recently signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan package in Columbus on Tuesday in the new president’s first visit to Ohio since he took office in January. Biden appeared at the Ohio State University James Cancer Research and Treatment Center, recounting his administration’s progress in overseeing the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to more than 100 million Americans, including more than 2.8 million Ohioans who have gotten at least one dose. He urged Americans to get vaccines as part of their ‘patriotic duty.'” 

Toledo Blade: President Biden talks up stimulus plan, health care on Affordable Care Act anniversary  

“In his first trip to Ohio as president, Joe Biden marked the 11th anniversary of his Democratic predecessor’s landmark health care law with a trip to Ohio State University’s cancer center that he also used to tout his administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package. ‘This anniversary we should remember just how close we’ve come to losing everything we fought so hard for,’ Mr. Biden said during 15 minutes of remarks at the university’s James Cancer Research and Treatment Center. ‘We have a duty to not only protect [the Affordable Care Act], but to make it better, and to keep becoming a nation where health care is a right for all, not a privilege,’ he said.” 

NBC Columbus: Biden announces Affordable Care Act enrollment extension during James Cancer Hospital visit 

“President Joe Biden traveled to Ohio on Tuesday to mark the 11th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act and showcase health insurance cost cuts. The visit comes as Biden and other top White House officials are hitting the road on the “Help is Here” tour to draw attention to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, Biden’s first major legislation. Biden announced during comments at Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital that the special enrollment period at HealthCare.gov would be extended through Aug. 15. States that run their own health insurance markets will offer the same enhanced assistance, although timetables for implementation may vary.” 

ABC Columbus: President Biden tours, speaks at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State 
“President Joe Biden came to Columbus Tuesday to showcase health insurance cost cuts on the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becoming law. Biden spoke at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute at Ohio State. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Tameka Hairston, Manager of Case Management and Social Work at Wexner Medical Center, also spoke at the hospital. The hospital received a $100 million ACA grant after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in 2010. The grant led to updates in the radiation oncology department and roughly quadrupled the number of patients treated daily, many of whom came from remote rural communities and other underprivileged groups, according to information provided by White House.” 

Second Gentleman Emhoff in Nebraska 

Omaha World-Herald: Vice president’s husband touts stimulus bill, COVID vaccinations in Nebraska visit 

“The husband of Vice President Kamala Harris thanked workers at a rural hospital here for their efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Then he asked everyone in Nebraska to do their part, too. Second gentleman Emhoff was in Nebraska on Tuesday to promote the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, particularly highlighting provisions dealing with health care. In addition to his hospital stop, Emhoff visited a vaccination clinic and heard the concerns of local health officials, including the need for additional staffing and improved rural broadband.” 

The Journal Star: Vice president’s husband touts COVID vaccinations in Nebraska visit 

“Second Gentleman Emhoff was in Nebraska on Tuesday to promote the recently passed stimulus bill, particularly highlighting provisions dealing with health care. The bill included increased subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, as well as measures intended to help rural hospitals fight the pandemic. Emhoff noted that Tuesday was the 11th anniversary of passage of the ACA. He encouraged Nebraskans to look into the ACA provisions of the stimulus plan to see if they are eligible for the increased subsidies.” 

ABC Omaha: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visits Blair  

“The vice president’s husband made a stop in the metro, Tuesday, to tout the country’s vaccine rollout. Doug Emhoff met with healthcare workers at the Blair hospital. He spent the afternoon learning how the pandemic has impacted rural healthcare workers while speaking about the Biden Administration’s passage of the American Rescue Plan. ‘The American Rescue Plan is for all communities,'[ Emhoff said. ‘And I felt it was important to come out to a rural community to see the hospital, to be at the vaccination clinic, just to show that we’re all in this together.'” 

NBC Omaha: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visits Blair hospital, vaccination site 

“Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, made a Nebraska stop Tuesday in Washington County on the ”Help is Here” tour to explain the finer points of President Biden’s stimulus plan. But Emhoff’s theme was simple: The president’s economic stimulus plan is for everyone, and it will take everyone working together to get through this crisis. The American Rescue Plan authorized direct payments of up to $1,400 to qualifying individuals as part of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package President Biden signed earlier this month. Emhoff took the administration’s message to the small town of Blair, passing on a stop in the big city of Omaha.” 

CBS Omaha: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visits Blair hospital 

“The husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff, was in Blair Tuesday to see how rural healthcare was operating during the pandemic. ‘You didn’t hear us talk about politics at all, you just heard us talk about communities in need,’ said Emhoff, the county’s Second Gentleman. Emhoff toured part of the hospital, led two roundtables with healthcare workers and went across the parking lot to a local church giving vaccinations.While taking this in, Emhoff was also pushing a message. Specifically, that the recently passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will help rural Nebraska.” 

Secretary Xavier Becerra in Carson City, Nevada 

Associated Press: Becerra visits Nevada, stumps for pandemic aid and Obamacare 

“U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra talked up the Affordable Care Act and efforts underway to expand coverage and reduce the cost of health care during a visit to Nevada. The secretary is one of several surrogates that President Joe Biden dispatched to cities throughout the country on Tuesday to drum up support for the American Rescue Plan. The federal relief package expands tax credits and subsidies to defray health care costs for people who are low income or on unemployment. The former congressman and California attorney general says the Biden administration plans to continue pushing policies that lower costs and expand health care coverage.” 

The Nevada Appeal: Biden cabinet member stumps for pandemic aid, Obamacare in Carson City  

“In his first trip since being confirmed, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra visited Nevada on Tuesday to talk up the Affordable Care Act and efforts underway to expand coverage and reduce the cost of health care. 
The secretary is one of several surrogates that President Joe Biden dispatched to drum up support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which includes funding for people who lost health care coverage amid the pandemic. The package builds on the Affordable Care Act by expanding tax credits and subsidies to lower health care costs. 
‘I hope Nevadans take full advantage of what it does to help middle class families on the edge’ during the pandemic, he said.” 

NBC Las Vegas: HHS Secretary visits Nevadans to discuss impact of Affordable Care Act 

“Secretary Becerra and Governor Steve Sisolak hosted a roundtable with community leaders from around Nevada. Each shared how the ACA has helped Nevadans. They also discussed COVID vaccination efforts. Secretary Becerra spoke about the cost of the ACA care, specifically for the minority community. The Latino community was perhaps, as a community, the most uninsured in America and as a result of the Affordable Care Act, a good number of them were able to access care and so they benefited tremendously,’ Becerra said. ‘The American Rescue Plan builds upon work in the Affordable Care Act – which was passed 11 years ago today – and Nevadans will benefit from expanded subsidies, lower premiums and access to applying for health insurance outside of the traditional Open Enrollment windows,’ Sisolak said in a statement.” 

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