The Inflation Reduction Act Gives Medicare the Power to Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices, Caps Medicare Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs at $2,000 Per Year, & Extends Health Insurance Tax Credits for Middle-Class Families
The Legislation Also Includes Provisions Championed by the Congresswoman to Strengthen Conservation Programs at USDA to Support Virginia’s Crop & Livestock Producers
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which will lower drug costs for Virginia seniors, reduce the federal deficit, and increase domestic energy production while strengthening America’s response to the climate crisis.
“Today’s vote is about siding with the Virginia seniors who are struggling to afford their medications — rather than siding with multinational pharmaceutical companies. Today’s vote is about recognizing the hardships faced by Virginia’s working families as healthcare costs rise — rather than refusing to take any steps to combat high costs. And today’s vote is about America leading the way in responsibly addressing climate change — rather than ignoring the very real national security threat posed by climate change,” said Spanberger. “This legislation will help lower prescription drug costs, reduce healthcare premiums, tackle federal deficits, and strengthen domestic energy production — including through clean energy jobs. These are key priorities as our economy continues to recover and rebuild. When we deliver results that lower costs for the American people and help them pay the bills, we are investing in our financial security, the economic independence of our nation, and a stronger future for the next generation.”
LOWERING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS: The Inflation Reduction Act will lower prescription drug costs for Virginia seniors by finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate the price of certain prescription drugs — a provision Spanberger has long fought to move forward. Additionally, the legislation will strengthen Medicare drug coverage by capping seniors’ out-of-pocket prescription costs at $2,000 per year. And for the more than 74,000 diabetic Virginians enrolled in Medicare, the legislation will put a cap of $35 per month on the cost of insulin.
“In travelling around the state, the struggle to pay for the high cost of medications is the #1 story we hear about,” said Jim Dau, State Director, AARP Virginia. “This is long overdue. After years of discussion and negotiation, Congress is finally on the cusp of delivering real prescription drug price relief for older Virginians.”
PREVENTING PREMIUM HIKES ON MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES: In addition to lowering drug prices for Virginia seniors, the Inflation Reduction Act extends the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium subsidies through 2025. Without this bill, the subsidies would expire at the end of this year. In 2022, the American Rescue Plan premium subsidies saved more than 34,000 constituents in Virginia’s Seventh District an average of $72 per month — or $862 per year — on their health insurance. Absent the ARP subsidies, these constituents would pay on average 51 percent more for insurance premiums in 2022.
“Today is a historic day for people with MS and others who struggle with costly healthcare needs”, said Shannon Wood, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Virginia and Maryland, National MS Society. “We are grateful to Representative Spanberger for her leadership, and for her work on drug pricing, and for extending tax subsidies to make health coverage more affordable. Too often, people with MS face the heartbreaking decision to stop taking their medication because it becomes financially out of reach. Because of this legislation, many people with MS can now simply focus on their health—and start picturing the day where they won’t be forced to choose between their medication and their other needs.”
“This bill is a long-awaited victory for the American people. Being sick takes over our lives and being unable to pay for care devastates families. Too many Americans die before their time because they can’t afford health care,” said Leslie Dach, Chair, Protect Our Care. “The Inflation Reduction Act will be a game-changer for millions of people. President Biden and Democrats in Congress like Rep. Spanberger delivered on their promise to lower health care costs and rein in high drug prices — and every Republican voted no. American families have been asking and waiting for this day, and there has never been a more urgent time to put more money in working families’ pockets.”
REDUCING FEDERAL DEFICITS: According to a report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), deficit reduction provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act are expected to reduce the federal deficit by more than $300 billion in the coming years. These provisions will not raise taxes on families making $400,000 or less — or on small businesses.
“The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget applauds Representative Spanberger for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, contributing to reducing our nation’s deficit,” said Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB). “The bill will not only significantly reduce the deficit for the first time in over ten years but will help Virginians by pushing in the right direction on inflation. We thank Representative Spanberger for backing this necessary legislation.”
INVESTING IN CONSERVATION & AMERICAN AGRICULTURE: The Inflation Reduction Act also includes several provisions Spanberger authored related to strengthening voluntary conservation programs across America, including major portions of her bipartisan REAP Improvement Act — which would strengthen assistance to ag producers and rural small businesses that are looking to install renewable energy systems and lower their energy bills. The bill also boosts funding for oversubscribed-yet-underfunded conservation programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — based on provisions in the Spanberger-led Climate Stewardship Act. As Chair of the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee, Spanberger also successfully pushed to include stronger investments in Conservation Technical Assistance through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) — a need she has heard about directly from Virginia producers.
“I’m proud to see this legislation include provisions I championed on behalf of Virginia’s crop and livestock producers that will allow them to better integrate climate-smart practices into their operations — meaning long-term benefits for both their wallets and our natural resources,” said Spanberger. “For too long, Washington has left producers, agribusinesses, and rural communities out of the conversation about tackling the climate crisis. Smart and responsible investments in voluntary conservation initiatives will help bring them to the table and demonstrate how America’s farmers can be a part of the solution.”
The Inflation Reduction Act now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law.