Responding to State of the Union Address

March 2, 2022
Abby Shepard

Health Care Voices Founder Laura Packard Responds to State of the Union Address

DENVER — Last night, President Biden gave the first State of the Union address of his presidency. His address covered a wide range of issues reflective of the multiple crises we are currently facing as a country, including the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs. The policy plans he laid out for this next year have major implications for America’s health care system.

Health Care Voices Founder Laura Packard issued the following statement: 

“In the past year, President Biden has taken significant steps to make health care more accessible and affordable for all Americans. As highlighted in his address, the American Rescue Plan provided much-needed support for American families through policies like additional Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, expanded health insurance options for the unemployed, emergency paid medical leave, and the child tax credit. This, along with the ACA special enrollment period last spring, led to record enrollment in ACA plans, meaning more people are covered and able to receive the care they need. Most recently, President Biden revamped efforts to invest in cancer research and treatment through his Cancer Moonshot plan.”

“However, we still have a long way to go. As President Biden outlined in his address, we need to cut health care costs: lower the cost of prescription drugs, close the Medicaid coverage gap, and renew the subsidies for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans. With Roe v. Wade under threat, we must also protect access to health care, including the right to safe, legal abortions for all people, regardless of background.”

“These policies to make health care more accessible and affordable are intertwined with President Biden’s other big health care priority: ending cancer as we know it. President Biden is calling for investment in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment that will reduce cancer deaths by 50% in the next 25 years and transform cancer from a life sentence to a treatable disease. As a cancer survivor, I know this investment can save lives–but it will only be possible if people also can access the care they need to diagnose and treat cancer.”

“The policies President Biden laid out last night to invest in cancer research and make health care more accessible and affordable would save millions of lives–just like the Affordable Care Act saved mine. Now we urge President Biden and Members of Congress to move beyond words and take action. Pass these crucial policies and sign the executive orders so we can finally build our health care system back better.”

Laura Packard is the founder of Health Care Voices, executive director of Health Care Voter, and a stage-4 cancer survivor. The Affordable Care Act saved her life. She is a co-host of Care Talk, a call-in health care show on to answer America’s health insurance questions about the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid (airing Mondays at 4:30pm ET). If you’d like to connect with Laura to discuss the State of the Union address or health care policy more generally, please reach out to