The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which President Biden recently signed into law, takes the most significant steps in more than a decade to lower families’ health care costs and provide insurance to people who previously lacked it. These measures will help people obtain essential care during the coronavirus pandemic while protecting household financial security during the resulting serious economic downturn.
Implemented properly, this legislation promises the most consequential improvement to U.S. health coverage since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law more than a decade ago. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that between 1.9 million and 2.4 million uninsured people will gain coverage under the law’s private insurance provisions alone. And although the CBO did not estimate coverage gains that could result from the ARP’s Medicaid improvements, if states respond to new and powerful financial incentives to expand Medicaid under the ACA and cover low-income adults, more than 2 million uninsured people would gain coverage and care. An additional 9 million people who have private coverage through health insurance marketplaces will see their premium payments decline by an average of $50 per person per month, saving consumers more than $5 billion a year.