Close a regulatory loophole in the ACA to provide vaccine access for all Americans

By Tom Daschle and Kathleen G. Sebelius

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (generally known as the ACA), was signed into law in 2010. It expanded access to affordable, quality health care, and today is helping 45 million people — the highest total on record — be covered by health insurance.

The law included long-overdue policy changes to ensure that Americans have access to recommended preventive care, which is critical to avoiding preventable illnesses and the health care spending associated with them. But the ACA’s provision requiring insurers to provide cost-free access to vaccines has not been fully implemented, leaving millions of Americans with the difficult choice between paying out-of-pocket or skipping recommended preventive care.

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health innovations of all time. A landmark World Health Organization study estimates that global immunization efforts have saved 154 million lives over the past 50 years. Thanks to congressional vision and leadership, the ACA and the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act jointly require Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health insurance plans to cover all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization advisory panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, without patient cost sharing.

Unfortunately, the regulations implementing these laws limit required commercial coverage of “routine” vaccines, leaving out a host of critical occupational, travel, and outbreak vaccines. The Biden administration should take action now to correct this long-standing error.

Read more HERE.

Let's Chat