Medicaid Coverage Gap: Expands coverage to millions of Americans who previously fell within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage gap. Beginning in 2022 through 2025, the legislation expands the ACA’s premium tax credits to below 100 percent of the federal poverty level and provides enhanced cost-sharing assistance. Closing this coverage gap will allow 1.7 million uninsured Americans, including 766,000 Texans, to gain access to coverage.
Prescription Drug Pricing: Provides the authority, the mandate, and the tools for Medicare to negotiate drug prices outside their initial exclusivity period; redesigns the Part D benefit to protect seniors from high out-of-pocket spending; and institutes rebates for drug prices that grow faster than inflation.
Medicare Hearing Coverage: Provides new comprehensive hearing benefits in Medicare Part B, including coverage of hearing aids for individuals with moderately severeto profound hearing loss; and expands the services audiologists may provide under Medicare to include treatment services and allows for hearing aid professionals to provide hearing assessment services.
Energy and Climate Change:
Fossil Energy Tax Credits: Extends and enhances the carbon sequestration tax credit (the “45Q Credit”), creates a new tax credit for hydrogen production, and adds a direct-pay option for certain tax credits.
Clean Energy Tax Credits: Expands ten-year tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, clean passenger and commercial vehicles, and clean energy manufacturing.
Environmental Investments: Provides investments and incentives to address extreme weather, legacy pollution, and a Civilian Climate Corps; and promotes environmental remediation.
Port Infrastructure and Supply Chains: Provides grants to reduce congestion at ports, helping to increase capacity and leading to more reliable and resilient supply chains.
Strengthening Flood Insurance: Strengthens the financial security of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), enhancing its longevity and provides funding to support flood mapping and means-tested assistance for certain low-income NFIP policyholders.
Emergency Network Improvements: Provides grants to entities deploying, operating, and maintaining Next Generation 9-1-1, internet-based emergency networks; and establishes funding for cybersecurity to protect our emergency networks, as well as a stakeholder advisory board to make recommendations to the program and ensure its success.
Children and Families:
Child Tax Credit (CTC): Provides a one-year extension of the CTC increase of $300 a month per child under the age of six and $250 a month per child ages 6 to 17, as enacted in the American Rescue Plan; and reinstates refundability of the CTC, meaning that working-class families will continue to receive the full CTC in years to come, upholding the largest one-year reduction in child poverty in history.
Child Care: Establishes new child care and early learning programs to provide high-quality, affordable child care for children ages five and under; increases wages for individuals in the early childhood care workforce; allocates funding for states to expand access to and availability of quality child care; and increases the number of child care workers, facilities, and programs. It also caps families’ child care copayments to ensure that no eligible family pays more than seven percent of their income on child care by creating a sliding scale fee system.
Universal Pre-school: Provides universal, high-quality, free, and inclusive pre-school programs for children.
Child Nutrition: Allows nearly 9 million more children to access meals through the Community Eligibility Provision and expands the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer program to provide $65 a month in nutrition benefits to eligible low-income children nationwide; allocates funding for schools to offer healthier meals, improve food safety, and provide nutrition education; and expands access to free school meals and food assistance during the summer. In Texas alone, this legislation will increase access to free school meals for an additional 1,642,000 students during the school year and provide 3,631,226 students with resources to purchase food during the summer. With 18 percent of children in Texas living in food insecure households, this funding will ensure children across Texas have access to enough food for a healthy life.
Paid Family and Medical Leave: Authorizes the first-ever universal, comprehensive, paid leave benefit for all U.S. workers, with up to four weeks of paid leave for new parents, workers dealing with their own serious medical conditions, and workers who need to leave to care for a loved one with a serious medical issue.