President Biden signed a sweeping $750 billion health care, tax, and climate bill on Tuesday. The move comes after Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act last week through reconciliation, with vote counts of 220-207 in the House and 51-50 in the Senate—an even split along party lines that was decided by Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
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The law will spend $64 billion to extend health insurance subsidies under the ACA for an additional 3 years, lowering health care premiums for the 1.8 million Texans utilizing marketplace subsidies to afford their health coverage plans.
The legislation would raise over $700 billion over 10 years and spend more than $430 billion to extend subsidies for health insurance under the ACA and reduce carbon emissions and the federal deficit.
It will reduce health care costs, giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drugmakers to cut the price of 100 medications while establishing $2,000 as the maximum Part D out-of-pocket liability and capping monthly insulin costs at $35 per month for Medicare enrollees.
“The Inflation Reduction Act locks in place lower health care premiums for millions of families who get their coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” the President said at the White House signing ceremony.
“Last year, a family of 4 saved an average $2,400 to the American Rescue Plan that I signed into law, that Congress voted in place. In the years ahead, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, 13 million people are going to continue to save an average of $800 a year on health insurance. The Inflation Reduction Act invests $369 billion to take the most aggressive action ever in confronting the climate crisis threatening our economic prosperity.”
Texas Congressional Democrats had a major hand in crafting the bill, which significantly impacts the state’s energy sector. One major concession pushed for by Texas’s federal Democratic representatives was the opening of federal lands and offshore waters for oil and gas drilling.
Provisions include $369 billion toward domestic energy security and climate change programs aimed at reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030. The bill also contains many tax incentives for renewable energy projects and investments meant to bring down the cost of electricity and create thousands of clean energy sector jobs over time.
Texas’s Permian Basin is responsible for a significant portion of the nation’s methane emissions, which warm the atmosphere at more than 25 times the rate of carbon dioxide. The bill would charge companies a fee on carbon emissions, though it would also offer financial assistance aimed at protecting smaller oil and gas operations.
“I fought to make sure the oil & gas industry was not the prime target by DC elitists as the industry provides nearly 40,000 jobs in my district along with $2.4 billion in income,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D – Laredo). “The Inflation Reduction Act is a better piece of legislation than Build Back Better and I worked to ensure several harmful provisions to our Texas oil & gas companies were removed.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act is an important opportunity to counteract inflation and deliver for South Texas,” said Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D – McAllen). “It is far from perfect, but it is a product of compromise … Many have raised concerns with provisions pertaining to domestic energy production. Rest assured that I worked and am still working to assure this bill does not prevent the United States from leading the world in responsible oil and gas production. This legislation will empower us to invest in the technologies to create a cleaner, greener future.”