Pingree, House Democrats Send Landmark Climate, Health Care Bill to President Biden’s Desk
The Inflation Reduction Act will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time, make the largest investment ever in the green economy to combat the climate crisis
Washington, August 12, 2022
Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and House Democrats passed H.R. 5376, the historic Inflation Reduction Act, a sweeping economic package to lower health care costs, combat the climate crisis, and fight inflation. The once-in-a-generation legislation, which was passed by Senate Democrats on August 7, makes transformative changes to Medicare, including allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors at $2,000. The bill also will create millions of new good-paying jobs, combat rising energy costs, and cut pollution in communities. After its passage, Pingree released the following statement:
“The Inflation Reduction Act is a historic victory for our environment, our farmers and ranchers, working families, and the overall health of Americans.
“I have been pursuing Medicare drug price negotiation for decades. As a state Senator, I led bus trips to Canada to help Maine seniors access lifesaving medication that was too expensive in the US – and drug costs have only skyrocketed since then. That’s why the Inflation Reduction Act’s provision allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices after two decades is so monumental. We’ll finally start reining in record profits from Big Pharma while putting money back in Mainers’ pockets and reducing the budget deficit. Coupled with out-of-pocket caps for seniors, penalties for drug makers that gouge patients, and extended Affordable Care Act subsidies to keep premiums low, the Inflation Reduction Act is an essential step forward.
“Under Republican leadership the mere mention of climate change was taboo – even as extreme heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, and floods cost lives and trillions of dollars in federal disaster aid. As someone who came to Congress with the goal of keeping our planet habitable, I’ve been fighting to address the climate crisis in the face of Republican denial and obstruction. That’s why my vote for the Inflation Reduction Act is so significant: it will make up for so much lost time by supercharging America’s path to a clean energy future, providing incentives for Americans to go green and reduce emissions. It is no exaggeration to say the Inflation Reduction Act is the most significant investment to fight climate change in U.S. history.
“Americans sent Democrats to Washington to get things done. With passage of major bills like the Inflation Reduction Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Democrats in Congress and President Biden have delivered real, life-changing legislation for the American people. Every Republican in Congress voted against this bill, once again choosing politics over people.”
Prior to the bill’s passage, Pingree released a video statement explaining the Medicare prescription drug provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. Watch that message here.
The bill includes a number of provisions that will directly improve the lives of Mainers: