When a President submits a budget to Congress, the document itself is not a real legislative proposal, but it is a portrait of an Administration's priorities.
President Biden's budget proposes $6 trillion in spending that would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II with large new investments in education, healthcare transportation, and fighting climate change. This year's Biden budget proposal offers a picture of plans for health care policy in the coming years to promote affordability and access to health care dominate.
On healthcare priorities, President Biden's fiscal year 2022 budget proposal would allow the federal government to negotiate for lower prices on drugs covered by Medicare; reduce deductibles in ACA plans; improve Medicare benefits to include dental, hearing, and vision; create a public option; lower the Medicare eligibility age; and close the Medicaid coverage gap in non-expansion states.
The request doesn't specify how much each of the proposed policies would cost or how to pay for them. But what clear is that the substantial increases in health spending are a departure from the spending priorities of the Trump administration which consistently sought to cut health programs. President Biden plans to finance his agenda by raising taxes on corporations and high-income Americans.
Stay tuned to see what aspects of President Biden's proposed health care spending investments become reality. While the outcome is uncertain, the coming public discussion about health care and other budget priorities is important and not at all frivolous.