WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House today passed the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation that will make prescription drugs more affordable and have major implications for how the U.S. approaches climate change. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“This is a very good day for America.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, it will bring important economic relief to seniors draining their bank accounts to pay for medicines or rationing their prescriptions.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, it will for the first time empower Medicare to negotiate some drug prices and counteract Big Pharma’s ability to price gouge, including for drugs that taxpayers helped develop.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, it will extend supports to help millions of Americans afford their health insurance.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, it will end the disgrace of many of the nation’s biggest and most profitable corporations paying nothing, or nearly nothing, in taxes.
“When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, it will constitute by far the most important U.S. legislative measure to address the climate crisis. It will drive down carbon emissions.
“And: When the Inflation Reduction Act is signed into law and implemented, there will be much more to do to build on its achievements. There is much more to do to combat Big Pharma’s price gouging on vital medicines; to restrain drug prices especially for people not on Medicare and notably for people who need insulin; to move toward expanded and improved Medicare for All; and to achieve tax fairness to offset still worsening income and wealth inequality.
“There is an urgent need for much more aggressive and far-reaching measures to prevent climate chaos and to build on the Inflation Reduction Act’s down payment with far greater investments in and measures to advance environmental justice. And there is a need to mitigate the harmful pro-fossil fuel measures included in the Inflation Reduction Act, including those which will concentrate pollution and ecological destruction on the Gulf South, Native American lands, and in communities of color.
“As Republicans again vote in lockstep against this package, they should be forced to answer the question: Why? Why did you vote against drug price relief for seniors? Why did you vote against making large companies pay at least some of their taxes? Why did you vote against health care affordability? Why did you vote against incentives – no regulations, just incentive – to spur renewable energy?”