TEXAS, USA — Now that The House has passed an expansive health care and climate bill, Democrats are loudly, confidently and proudly telling voters what the legislation will do, from lowering the cost of prescription drugs, to incentivizing individuals and businesses to tackle climate change, to tax reform.
Congressman Al Green (D-Houston) spent most of the week in Washington D.C. in advance of the vote.
“Now, I don’t claim that this is a panacea that’s going to cure all of the problems in society right away. But the best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago. Well, we’ve got to plant this tree now. We can talk about how it doesn’t do everything at once. But 25 years from now, we’ll be grateful that we planted the tree,” Congressman Al Green said on Inside Texas Politics.
Congressman Green joined all other Democrats passing the measure, which is also called the Inflation Reduction Act, 220 – 207. No Republicans voted for the bill, which now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
House Democrats passed a much larger package in late 2021, to the tune of $2 trillion. But the Senate passed a more limited bill last week, an estimated $740 billion package.
Democrats are also touting the measure’s historic effort to battle climate change, $375 Billion over the next decade. It includes tax rebates for drivers to buy Electric Vehicles, tax credits for individuals and companies to pursue clean energy and carbon capture technology and new fees on excess methane emissions.
Republicans argue the legislation will not reduce inflation, but will instead add even more pressure on consumers because of the bill’s spending.
And the GOP successfully removed a $35 cap on insulin for those with private health insurance. That cap remains in place for those using Medicare, however.
“Insulin can cost a lot more than $35. So, what we’re trying to do is make insurance affordable, and Medicare is a type of insurance, make it affordable,” said Congressman Green. “And by making it affordable, we’ll be reducing the cost and that will help us with the inflation as it relates to an individual. It brings down your inflationary cost by reducing the cost of the prescription drugs.”
For full recap of what made it into the Inflation Reduction Act and how it’s paid for, head here.