Congressional Democrats’ ambitions for a major climate and social spending bill may dwindle to a measure to reform drug prices and extend health-insurance subsidies past the end of this year. While wrangling over an eventual measure is continuing on Capitol Hill, it’s clear what’s at stake for Americans who receive subsidies to reduce what they pay in health-insurance premiums.
If Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare — subsidies expanded through the American Rescue Plan Act expire early next year, premium payments will increase across the board for 13 million people, according to an estimate from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The subsidies have been thrust back into the spotlight in Washington, as an Associated Press report late Thursday said key Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin plans to support what’s known as a reconciliation bill only if it’s limited to curbing pharmaceutical
prices and extending Obamacare premium subsidies. He will oppose including climate
or energy provisions or higher taxes on the rich or corporations, the report added. As MarketWatch has written, analysts at Capital Alpha Partners have emphasized that Democrats must act before Sept. 30 to extend the Affordable Care Act subsidies that are due to expire, saying it would be “politically disastrous” for the party to have that aid go away just before November’s midterm elections. Also see: Republicans still favored in midterm elections, but their chances for taking back Senate are dropping The subsidies are set to expire at the end of the calendar year, but Sept. 30 is the deadline for a …