August 08, 2022
2 min read
The Senate has passed legislation that, if signed into law, will lower the cost of some prescription drugs and health insurance in the United States.
Specifically, the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce premiums for 13 million Americans covered under the Affordable Care Act by $800, according to a press release from the White House, and extend subsidies for health insurance plans under the ACA for 3 additional years. In addition, it will cap the amount that seniors have to pay out of pocket for prescription drugs at $2,000 every year, and will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers.
The act also includes provisions that would cap insulin costs for people on Medicare at $35 per month. However, 43 Republicans voted against a provision to cap out-of-pocket costs for people with private insurance, according to the Endocrine Society.
“We all have the right to high-quality, affordable health care,” HHS secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “With Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we are on the cusp of even more relief for America’s families when it comes to affording the health care they rely on and deserve.”
“No one should have to go without health care or a prescription they need because they can’t afford it,” Becerra added.
Along with health care costs, the legislation also addresses the “climate crisis,” according to the White House. Top medical organizations have previously called the health consequences of climate change a public health crisis. With more than $300 billion in investments for climate and energy, the bill boasts “the largest investment ever in combatting the existential crisis of climate change,” President Joe Biden said in the White House release.
“It addresses the climate crisis and strengthens our energy security, creating jobs manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles in America with American workers,” he said. “It lowers families’ energy costs by hundreds of dollars each year.”
The act can pay for all of this, according to Biden, “by establishing a minimum corporate tax.”
“It does not raise taxes on those making under $400,000 a year — not one cent,” he said.
The Inflation Reduction Act now goes to the House of Representatives for approval. Biden said in the press release that he looks forward to signing it into law.