Lower Drug PricesRelease

After One Year, Historic Inflation Reduction Act is Making Saving Millions Money on Health Care, Energy and Making Taxes Fairer

By August 16, 2023March 30th, 2024No Comments

WASHINGTON — To commemorate the first anniversary of the enactment of the historic Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) Executive Director Margarida Jorge issued the following statement:

“The Inflation Reduction Act represents the greatest progress on lowering healthcare costs, addressing climate change and rebalancing our tax system in decades. The law made history by delivering on years of promises to make drug corporations negotiate prices in Medicare, finally defeating years of special interest lobbying that has put even basic medicines out of reach for millions of seniors and people with disabilities.

“Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, millions of Americans will finally see caps on out-of-pocket costs and accountability for price-gouging on prescription drugs that have made drug corporations massive profits at the expense of patients’ health. As many as 3.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees will pay less for insulin under the IRA’s $ 35-a-month cap. Drug corporations will pay fines for raising their prices faster than inflation. As we Countdown to Lower Drug Costs, Medicare is preparing to select some of the most expensive drugs in Medicare Part D for first-ever price negotiations that will lower costs for 5 to 7 million seniors and people with disabilities once implemented.

“But the law doesn’t stop there; it also lowers healthcare costs for people with Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage so that 3 million people can stay covered. And, as the nation faces the aftermath of fires in Maui, millions of Americans face record-hot weather and climate conditions that strain the energy grid, the IRA offers a transition to cleaner energy that saves families money, cleans up our planet and protects our health. Average Americans will save $1,045 a year and the federal deficit will be reduced by $305 billion over 10 years thanks to the IRA.”

Even as we celebrate, drug corporations, the Chamber of Commerce and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the law before it goes into effect. Around the country, grassroots groups that represent impacted people are poised to fight back and protect these gains and make more progress:

“The Inflation Reduction Act is already lowering drug costs for millions of Americans, including many Florida seniors enrolled in Medicare. The new law is providing no-cost vaccines, lower prices on insulin, a cap on out-of-pocket costs in Part D and, soon, Medicare will be negotiating lower prices on the most expensive medicines covered under the program. Experts predict that Medicare negotiations will make medicines more affordable for 5-7 million seniors across the country and save taxpayers $237 million over 10 years. We have a lot to celebrate with these important first steps. Not only are we going to fight to ensure that the law is fully implemented, but we’re also going to keep pressing lawmakers to expand these benefits and further improve Medicare with more long-overdue reforms like coverage for dental, vision and hearing benefits.” William (Bill) Sauers, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans. 

“West Virginia is one of the states that stand to benefit most from the Inflation Reduction Act. We have next to the highest number of seniors in the nation who desperately need cost controls on their Medicare prescriptions. Our economy desperately needs its resources to transition into the renewable energy economy that is our nation’s future, including the thousands of new jobs it will create. Thanks to leadership from Senator Manchin, the new law decreases our national debt by making billion-dollar corporations and wealthy households making more than $400,000 annually pay their fair share of taxes..” Gary Zucket, Executive Director, West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

“The Inflation Reduction Act included some major wins for Medicare enrollees. It capped insulin cost at $35/month, created a $2k annual out-of-pocket Rx cost cap, made Big Pharma pay if they hike prices faster than inflation and enabled Medicare for the first time to negotiate lower drug prices. Right here in Iowa, some 34,000 Iowa Medicare beneficiaries used insulin in 2020. And it helps cover 72,000 Iowans with out-of-pocket costs and save $1,170 a year annually on health care costs. The tax reforms that will enable the IRS to finally collect taxes from wealthy tax cheats that have avoided paying for decades. That’s a huge victory for average Americans stuck in a two-tier tax system where the rich and corporations keep getting richer at our expense.” Sue Dinsdale, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network.

“As the Inflation Reduction Act turns one we know it is already lowering costs and increasing access to health care. Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol Myers Squibb, all in New Jersey and all making exorbitant profits, have all filed lawsuits to prevent Medicare from negotiating lower prescription drug prices. What is clear is they are putting the protection of their excessive profits over patients. We need full implementation of the IRA.” Maura Collinsgru, Director of Policy and Advocacy, New Jersey Citizen Action.