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Biden calls for healthcare upgrades as ACA enrollment period nears end

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Biden calls for healthcare upgrades as ACA enrollment period nears end
Demonstrators show support for the Affordable Care Act in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The White House said Tuesday that more than 2 million Americans have signed up for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act during the special enrollment period, which began earlier this year and ends this weekend.

President Joe Biden's administration opened the special enrollment in February and later extended it to run until Aug. 15.

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Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris will encourage more Americans to sign up before the period expires on Sunday.

The White House said the extra 2.5 million people in the United States who are newly covered add to the more than 30 million who'd been previously covered by ACA plans.

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Officials say premiums are even lower because of enhancements that came in the American Rescue Plan.

"Because of the law's enhanced tax credits, nine million Americans who buy their coverage through the Affordable Care Act have lower premiums, saving families an average of $40 per person per month," the White House said in a statement. "That's nearly $2,000 per year for a typical family of four.

"Those lower costs helped drive more than 2.5 million people to enroll in coverage since the beginning of this administration."

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Harris will appear at the Brentwood Health Center in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to deliver her remarks.

The White House is calling for Congress to pass Democrats' $3.5 trillion spending plan that was unveiled on Monday, to keep up momentum for ACA signups. The measure, if passed, would add millions in funding to healthcare, climate change and other top Democratic priorities.

Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said Monday that the chamber will take up the spending plan immediately after it passes a bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is expected Tuesday.

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Biden aims to expand Medicare coverage to include dental, vision, or hearing services, lower prescription drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices and close Medicaid coverage gaps by providing federal coverage for those in states that refuse to expand.

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