APHA applauds Senate passage of Inflation Reduction Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations
Senate passage yesterday of H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act, represents a significant positive step forward in protecting the nation’s health. This critical legislation will protect the public from the health threats associated with climate change and expand access to comprehensive and affordable health coverage.
The legislation includes important new investments to combat climate change, transition to clean energy and protect the public from this growing health crisis while also advancing environmental justice by ensuring the investments deliver significant benefits to traditionally underserved communities. Specifically, the bill includes $370 billion in funding for long-term tax credits and other incentives for clean energy, home energy efficiency, clean transportation, an extension of tax credits for electric vehicles, investments to support clean energy manufacturing and other investments to decarbonize the U.S. economy. Importantly, the bill will also reduce methane emissions through new fees on methane emissions from the oil and gas sectors and will also provide resources to monitor methane emissions and support underserved communities impacted by methane pollution.
The Inflation Reduction Act also includes significant investments for expanding and improving health coverage in the nation, moving us closer to the goal of achieving universal health coverage for all. Importantly, the bill extends the American Rescue Plan Act’s enhanced premium tax credits for purchasing Affordable Care Act plans in the marketplace through 2025, providing more than 10 million individuals with more affordable health insurance coverage and preventing more than 3 million individuals from losing coverage. Additionally, the legislation will help make prescription drugs more affordable for consumers by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate with drug makers to reduce the cost of certain high-cost prescription drugs. Other Medicare patient benefits from the bill include a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 per year, limiting prescription price increases to the rate of inflation and free vaccines to seniors in Medicare.
The American Public Health Association applauds the action of the Senate and, with expected passage by the House late this week, we look forward to the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law by President Biden.
While the bill is not perfect and does not include other important APHA priorities, it is critical legislation to improve and protect the health of the nation.
Visit APHA’s website for resources on climate change and health reform.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.