Biden launches new push to limit health care costs hoping to prove he can save money for families

WASHINGTON (AP) President Joe Biden on Friday launched a new set of initiatives to reduce health care costs: a crackdown on scam insurance plans, new guidelines to prevent surprise medical bills, and an effort to reduce medical-related debt to credit cards.

Bidens’ remarks will build previous initiatives to limit health care costs, with the Department of Health and Human Services releasing new estimates showing 18.7 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries will save about $400 a year on drug costs prescription in 2025 due to the fact that the president placed a limit on pocket-spending as part of the last few years Inflation Reduction Act.

Prepare for his 2024 re-election campaign As inflation remains a top concern for voters, the Democratic chairman highlighted his policies to help families manage their spending, as well as a series of government incentives to encourage private sector development of electric vehicles, clean energy and advanced computer chips.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, July 6, 2023. Senior Swedish and Turkish officials arrived at NATO headquarters on Thursday to review Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's objections accession of the Nordic country to the military alliance and to see what more, if anything, could be done to break the deadlock.  (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says US President Joe Biden and his counterparts will agree next week to help modernize Ukraine’s military, create a new forum for high-level consultations and reaffirm they will one day unite to their alliance.

This is a location map for Saudi Arabia with its capital Riyadh.  (AP Photo)

UN human rights experts are calling for the release of two Saudi Arabian women who they say have been arbitrarily detained and denied basic rights after tweeting criticism of the kingdom’s policies.

A view of the Belarusian army camp near the village of Tsel, about 90 kilometers (about 55 miles) southeast of Minsk, Belarus, Friday, July 7, 2023. Maj. Gen. Leonid Kosinsky, assistant defense minister Belarusian, said Russia's military contractor Wagner could use the military camp near Tsel if it moved to Belarus under a deal that would end the failed mutiny of mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

The Belarusian military showed off a field camp it has offered Russian military contractor Wagner if he moves to Belarus under a deal ending his mutiny.

This is a location map for Lebanon with its capital Beirut.  (AP Photo)

A Lebanese security official says at least one person has died and several more have been injured after a shooting inside a mosque in Lebanon.

Republican lawmakers have criticized Biden’s policies saying they spurred higher prices that hurt household well-being.

The Biden administration plans to limit what it calls junk insurance plans, such as short-term policies that can deny basic coverage when people switch from one employer to another and still need temporary health coverage.

Neera Tanden, director of the White House Home Policy Council, highlighted the case of a man in Montana who received a $43,000 health care bill because his insurer claimed his cancer was a pre-existing condition.

This isn’t real insurance, it’s junk insurance, Tanden told reporters during a preview phone call of Biden’s remarks. We will propose legislation to crack down on these plans.

The president also announced new guidelines on medical billing starting in the 1920s Law without surprises. The guidance would limit the ability of insurers who contract with hospitals to require care provided to be out-of-network and for customers to pay more. Health plans should also disclose facility fees that are increasingly being billed to patients and can emerge as an unexpected cost on a medical bill.

Frankly, what they’re doing is playing with the system, that’s not allowed, Tanden said.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Treasury Department are also looking for information about third-party credit cards and loans used specifically to pay for health care. Higher costs and interest can discourage people in need of care from seeking care.

The president is also expected to highlight previous efforts to reduce health care costs, including a plan that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and a $35 monthly cap on insulin for people in Medicare Part B

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