**Package includes Rep. Kuster’s bipartisan legislation to save seniors hundreds of dollars by ensuring Medicare fully covers all CDC-recommended vaccines**
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) voted in favor of the Build Back Better Act, which included her bipartisan legislation, the Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act, which will eliminate out-of-pocket costs for recommended vaccines for seniors on Medicare. This comprehensive, impactful legislative package includes once-in-a-generation investments to support families, combat climate change, create jobs, and expand access to affordable health care.
Rep. Kuster’s Protecting Seniors Through Immunization Act, which is included in the bill, would ensure that seniors on Medicare receive CDC recommended vaccines at no cost. Immunization coverage currently varies by vaccine under Medicare, and this legislation would provide Medicare beneficiaries access to all recommended vaccines at no additional cost, including shingles and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap).
“Today is a monumental day for New Hampshire, and for our country,” said Rep. Kuster. “The bold and transformative legislation we passed today reflects the needs I hear from constituents across my district and puts their concerns and priorities into action. From lowering the cost of child care, to funding universal Pre-K so parents can get back to work, to addressing climate change, to cutting taxes for Granite Staters, this legislation is going to move our country forward. I was proud to deliver New Hampshire priorities in this package, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to send this final legislation to the president’s desk and get this done for the American people.”
“I’m proud to see my legislation to support Granite State seniors make it into the Build Back Better Act passed by the House of Representatives today,” Rep. Kuster continued. “By ensuring equal access to life-saving vaccinations for Medicare recipients without out-of-pocket costs, this legislation builds off of lessons learned during COVID-19 to better support our health care workers and our seniors. This once-in-a-generation legislation is a game-changer for New Hampshire, and I look forward to all the good it will do for our state.”
Specifically, this transformative package will deliver much-needed support to Granite Staters by:
- Ensuring every Granite Stater has access to affordable, quality health care.
- The Build Back Better framework will close the Medicaid coverage gap to help millions of Americans gain health insurance.
- The package extends the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions through 2025 for those who buy coverage on their own and helps older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare.
- The package also gives Medicare negotiating power to lower drug costs for seniors and stops Big Pharma’s outrageous price hikes above inflation for all Americans.
- In New Hampshire, that means 19,000 uninsured people will gain coverage, and 23,900 will on average save hundreds of dollars per year.
- Supporting families by establishing universal paid family leave.
- The Build Back Better Act establishes a universal and permanent paid family and medical leave program, providing four weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and medical leave.
- The benefits of paid family and medical leave are substantial, including improving business productivity, boosting employee morale, reducing turnover, and making it easier for employers to attract skilled workers. The benefits also include strengthening the labor force, providing income security to families who might otherwise need public assistance to make ends meet, and helping women stay in the workforce.
- Cutting taxes for hardworking Granite State families.
- This legislation is projected to generate more than $2 trillion in savings. These savings come from ensuring large multinational corporations and ultra-wealthy Americans pay their fair share and from reducing the cost of prescription drugs, all while not raising taxes on any taxpayer making less than $400,000.
- The framework gives more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit.
- The Build Back Better Act will provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 for 66,400 lower-wage workers in New Hampshire by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.
- Driving down child care costs for New Hampshire families.
- The average New Hampshire family with two children spends 21% of their income on child care for one year. The Build Back Better Act would lower costs by capping child care costs at 7% of family income for millions of Americans.
- Lack of access to affordable child care in New Hampshire contributes to the state’s 15.8% gender gap in workforce participation.
- The Build Back Better framework will enable New Hampshire to provide access to child care for 67,154 children ages 0-5.
- Keeping our promise to our nation’s veterans.
- The Build Back Better framework includes $5 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to address aging infrastructure, support its workforce, and bolster the support structures that serve our nation’s veterans.
- Importantly, the package includes $2.3 billion to address the immediate and long-term infrastructure needs of the VA.
- The Build Back Better agenda also addresses VA workforce needs by investing $268 million to establish an education and training program for health provisional students and to increase the number of residency positions at VA medical facilities.
- Making critical investments in agricultural research and infrastructure.
- The Build Back Better agenda provides $2 billion for agricultural research to advance American food and agriculture system’s global competitiveness, innovation, infrastructure, food security, equity, and climate change resilience.
- The framework delivers more than $28 billion for critical conservation initiatives.
- This framework also includes $12 billion in debt relief for farmers in need. Importantly, this cost is offset by $6 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act.
- Providing critical funding for towns and cities to establish universal Pre-K for children ages 3-4 years old.
- Only 13% of the 27,561 3/4-year-olds in New Hampshire have access to publicly-funded preschool.
- The Build Back Better framework will enable New Hampshire to expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 24,092 additional 3/4-year-olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled.
- Combating climate change.
- The Build Back Better agenda makes the largest investment to combat the climate crisis in history, totaling over $555 billion over 10 years to bolster clean energy and climate investments.
- The framework creates green tax credits that will save the average American family hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.
- The plan also ensures clean energy technology – from wind turbine blades to solar panels to electric cars – will be built in the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs here at home.
- Expanding access to high-quality broadband.
- The Build Back Better Act invests $300 million in the Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure students, staff, and library patrons have internet connectivity and devices at home.
- The framework also delivers $295 million for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish a pilot program that will provide grants to public-private partnerships for projects that increase access to affordable broadband.
- Supporting New Hampshire’s higher education institutions and making education beyond high school more affordable.
- To help unlock the opportunities of an education beyond high school, the Build Back Better Act will increase the maximum Pell Grant awards by $550 for students at public and private non-profit institutions, supporting the 82,727 students in New Hampshire who rely on Pell.
- Seven public community colleges in New Hampshire will have the opportunity to benefit from grants to develop and deliver innovative training programs and expand proven ones.
- Expanding access to nutrition assistance for Granite Staters to combat child hunger.
- Currently, nearly 28,000 children in New Hampshire live in food-insecure households.
- The Build Back Better framework will expand access to free school meals to an additional 13,000 NH students during the school year and provide 45,190 NH students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
Rep. Kuster has been heavily involved in the negotiation process of the Build Back Better agenda, working with congressional leadership to ensure Granite State priorities were included in the final bill text. Specifically, Kuster successfully negotiated the removal of an IRS reporting provision that would create a new tax information reporting regime under the Department of Treasury and require local banks and credit unions in New Hampshire to report annual inflows and outflows to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annually, raising privacy concerns for the majority of bank account holders.