Pelosi, Doggett in Austin to discuss Build Back Better health care progress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a visit to Austin on Thursday to discuss the Biden administration’s progress on the Build Back Better Act.

Speaker Pelosi was joined by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) and Austin Mayor Steve Adler at a press conference hosted by Foundation Communities.

"When we did affordable healthcare we thought we were establishing a pillar of social security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, but we knew we could do better and we did in the Rescue package," said Speaker Pelosi. "Now we have to build on that; go beyond what was immediate for COVID and extend."

The focus on Thursday was healthcare provisions within the Build Back Better Act. Those include expanding Medicaid, expanding benefits under Medicare, more affordable marketplace insurance within the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug costs.

"We need federal action, we need you to step in and help, we need the federal government, because our state is not protecting us the way it should," said Mayor Adler.

This comes as Democrats in Congress are pushing for a $3.5 trillion spending plan that would help pave the way for the provisions.

"We are fortunate that working with President Biden we’re about to have the biggest improvement in the social and economic safety net that we’ve had since the New Deal," said Rep. Doggett.

Though the plan to "build back better" encompasses a wide spectrum of goals, Speaker Pelosi said it all starts with healthcare.

"Healthcare is a health issue, and it’s also a financial stability issue for families," said Speaker Pelosi. "It’s where it all comes together."

Speaker Pelosi also commented on the passage of SB 8, a Texas bill that went into law on Wednesday, and essentially bans abortions after six weeks.

"What happened in the last 36 hours or so has been stunning," said Speaker Pelosi. "When we go back to Washington, we will be putting Roe v. Wade codification on the floor of the House to make sure that women everywhere have access to the reproductive health that they need."

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