Realistic, Bipartisan Health Policy Recommendations for CV4 in Health

Congress and the Administration have taken extraordinary bipartisan action to limit the spread of COVID-19 and address both the health and economic challenges that this virus presents, but these actions alone are not enough. More work must be done to shore up our health care system, protect health care workers, ensure access to needed care, and protect the most vulnerable. As Congress continues to work on additional legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic, BPC Action recommends the following actions to achieve these goals. View all recommendations here.

Reforming the Current Health Care System to Improve Resiliency:

  • Implement the BPC’s Future of Health leaders practical, bipartisan proposal.  

Protecting Rural Health Care and Ensuring Hospital and Provider Solvency:

  • Provide an additional $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers while ensuring that rural providers and those most in need receive an adequate portion of the funding.  
  • Increase Medicare funding for rural hospitals and CAHs. 

Providing Affordable Insurance Coverage:

  • Require a special enrollment period to purchase health insurance on the ACA market places.  
  • Implement a reinsurance program to keep future premiums from rising.  

Strengthening Public Health Funding:

  • Establish a Public Health Infrastructure Fund. 

Expanding Access to Telehealth:

  • Increase funding and reduce regulations for telehealth to expand widespread access.  
  • Invest in expanding access to broadband internet to every community. 

Improving Vaccine and Treatment Affordability:

  • End surprise medical bills.  
  • Support Project Bioshield and build on previous efforts to keep a future vaccine affordable.  

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic:

  • Provide funding for public health outreach for individuals with substance use disorders. 
  • Lift the cap on the number of buprenorphine patients a prescriber can treat and remove the additional DATA 2000 waiver requirement for buprenorphine prescribing.  
  • Provide funding for expanded reentry services for individuals leaving incarceration due to COVID-19.  

Providing Funding for States:

  • Extend the 6.2% increase in the FMAP for state Medicaid programs until July 1, 2021 and examine new options for automatic FMAP increases during economic downturns.  

Ensuring Access to Adequate Nutrition:

  • Increase SNAP benefits and improve access to nutrition services.  

Protecting Health Care Workers:

  • Provide additional funding for health care worker protection, including PPE.  
  • Conduct and publicly release a transparent gap analysis of the material and equipment we need. 
  • Require transparency regarding how critical medical material and PPE is being allocated.   

Improving Access to Care in Medicare and Medicaid:

  • Provide funding to states to address the needs of those who provide care to individuals with disabilities. 
  • Enable Medicare Advantage plans to expand coverage of supplemental benefits directly related to enrollees’ risk of contracting COVID-19.  
  • Eliminate the prohibition in Medicare on billing for all-same day services.  

Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services:

  • Appoint a high-ranking official to address social isolation. 
  • Provide sufficient funds for organizations providing primary care and behavioral health services.  
  • Prohibit prior authorization requirements in Medicare and Medicaid for medications needed to treat mental health and substance use disorders during the COVID-19 public health emergency.