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Economic Prosperity

Cleveland Leaders, Advocates Push for Passage of Build Back Better Act, Discuss Health Care Provisions, Local Impacts

Dec 09, 2021

CLEVELAND, OH — Today, Cleveland leaders and advocates gathered in front of Sen. Rob Portman’s office to discuss the importance of passing the Build Back Better Act and what it will mean for the local community and families. Speakers focused on the major health care provisions of the legislation — including giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, investing in the care economy, and increasing access to health care. The event was part of the Building Ohio Together Tour, organized by For Our Future Ohio and the Ohio Democratic Party.

The Build Back Better Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now with the U.S. Senate.

“We have a core principle that we believe in the labor movement — that an honest day’s work deserves an honest day’s pay, and a lifetime of work deserves a secure retirement. We cannot have a secure retirement without making some dramatic changes and improvements to health care,” said Dan O’Malley, Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO and Lakewood City Council President. “The Build Back Better Act will do exactly that. It’s going to put a cap on the cost of insulin, which is creating a dramatic financial hardship for far too many retirees in this country. And it’s very significantly going to give Medicare — once and for all, at long last — the ability to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Without being able to do those things, unfortunately, a secure retirement is out of reach for far too many people who have worked hard their entire lives.”

“The Build Back Better Agenda is about giving every American a fighting chance. It’s about leveling the playing field and ensuring the wealthiest and huge, profitable corporations do their fair share so that working families, care workers, teachers, firefighters, and nurses get a fighting chance,” said Kobie Christian, Communications Director, For Our Future Ohio.

Christian, who discussed vital investments in home- and community-based care through the Build Back Better Act, said, “A robust investment in care jobs is critical to building a durable, robust economy here in Cleveland and across our state and country. Not only will investments from the Build Back Better Act make home care more accessible and affordable, but it will provide those who take care of people with disabilities and our aging loved ones with dignity of work, allowing them to earn family-sustaining wages.”

Carrie Kubicki, who shared her father’s story, said, “My family story is like so many others who would benefit from this bill.”

Relaying her father Jack Kubicki’s words, she said, “I have worked since I was 13, my wife has been a dedicated nurse for 40 years, and yet, we are still figuring out how to juggle the cost of life-saving prescriptions and medical insurance with the current high-cost of living. Families shouldn’t have to decide if they’re going to be able to afford staple groceries this month or to pay for their medicine, medical insurance, or a doctor’s visit. With the Build Back Better Act, life-saving prescription drug costs will be reduced — this simple provision will allow my family and millions of other Americans who are in similar situations to have autonomy again over their budgets.”

A recording of today’s event is available here. Additional information about how the Build Back Better Act will strengthen health care can be found here.