President Biden recently announced in a speech at the White House the plan for his scaled-back, but still historic, domestic policy plan.
The new plan, which leaves out key items like paid family leave and lower prescription drug pricing, is still considered “robust” with $1.75 trillion of social services and climate change programs.
However, it’s not in the clear yet. Biden still needs to secure votes from “key colleagues” and the issues that were left out angered many. So, it’s not going to be easy getting it passed with the narrowly divided Congress.
Biden is hoping it’ll pass the 50-50 Senate. But Republicans aren’t about to make it easy, as they overwhelmingly oppose the plan. This leaves no wiggle room when it comes to Democratic votes in the Senate and few in the House.
What was left in the mix may affect Benefits pros. So, you’ll want to keep an eye on it. Some of what’s still in the plan includes:
- Expanded healthcare program, which includes a new $35 billion hearing aid benefit for people with Medicare
- Free prekindergarten for all children
- $555 billion to tackle climate change
- A one-year extension of a child-care tax credit put in place during the COVID-19 rescue and new childcare subsidies, and
- An additional $100 billion to bolster the immigration and border processing system.
Biden touted that this plan “will fundamentally change the lives of millions of people for the better.” And along with a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, “would be a domestic achievement modeled on those of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.”
The White House agrees calling the plan “the largest-ever investment in climate change and the biggest improvement to the nation’s healthcare system in more than a decade.”
The financing for the program would come from:
- a new 5% surtax on income over $10 million a year
- a new 15% corporate minimum tax
- dialing down Trump administration’s 2017 tax cuts, and
- increased IRS focus on prosecuting tax dodgers.
We’ll let you know when the domestic policy plan is finalized, and how it impacts health care and your benefits.