✦ President Joe Biden’s 2022 fiscal year budget plan includes multiple health care-related asks aimed at improving Medicare, Medicaid and Affordable Care Act coverage. The budget calls for, among other things, lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60, enhancing access to supplemental benefits such as dental and hearing in Medicare, and providing “premium-free, Medicaid-like coverage” through a federal public option in states that have not expanded Medicaid, while financial incentives would remain in place to ensure states keep their existing expansions.
✦ The Senate on May 25 confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as the new administrator for CMS. The Obama-era policy adviser, who was most recently a managing director with professional services firm Manatt, will be instrumental in carrying out President Joe Biden’s goals of building on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to improve coverage and controlling prescription drug costs. Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the insurer trade group looks forward to “working with Brooks- LaSure to strengthen and improve Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA marketplace coverage.”