WASHINGTON, D.C., November 5, 2021 — “The Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376) under consideration by Congress would make major progress in critical areas for preventing cardiovascular disease, the #1 cause of death among people in America. The legislation would strengthen access to care, child nutrition security, family supports, tobacco cessation and prevention and the public health infrastructure. As Congress works to bring this vital package over the finish line, the American Heart Association is pleased to see lawmakers prioritizing essential efforts to invest in our nation’s health and well-being and ensure our children have the best chance to live long and healthy lives.

“This sweeping legislation contains provisions that represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve health equity. It closes the Medicaid coverage gap and extends the enhanced American Rescue Plan Act premium subsidies for marketplace coverage, expanding access to affordable coverage for as many as 4 million people. The bill also supports maternal health by requiring Medicaid postpartum coverage for one year and invests more than $1 billion in mothers and families.

“The package safeguards children’s access to healthy school meals by expanding the Community Eligibility Provision, which would allow millions of more vulnerable children to get the nutritious food they need to succeed, as well as strengthening other critical child nutrition programs such as Summer-EBT and school kitchen equipment grants. The legislation strengthens our federal, state and local health departments’ ability to expand capacity to prevent and respond to public health threats—both infectious and chronic diseases. Additionally, the bill supports families and caregivers by providing four weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

“Policies included in the Build Back Better Act address a multitude of necessary supports for people across the country. But many of these critical provisions expire in the near term and could be expanded to more individuals and families. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to advance strategies that improve heart health for all.

“The American Heart Association urges Congress to act quickly to make the Build Back Better Act a reality. The provisions included in this legislation will not only help patients, families and communities continue to manage the ongoing pandemic, but will also help establish significant supports to ensure that each and every one of us has the ability to thrive."


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries:

Arielle Beer: 202.785.7902; arielle.beer@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org