August 12, 2022

Congressman Castro Votes for the Inflation Reduction Act to Lower Prescription Drug & Energy Costs, Create Jobs, and Cut Carbon Pollution

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation that will lower prescription drug and consumer energy costs, create good-paying clean energy jobs, and reduce carbon pollution nearly 40 percent by 2030.

“The Inflation Reduction Act will make a world of difference for hard-working folks across Texas who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Congressman Castro. “For years, my constituents have seen their cost-of-living rise faster than their wages while big corporations make record profits. The Inflation Reduction Act will make historic progress to lower prescription drug costs for seniors, cut consumer energy bills, and create good-paying jobs that lift families into the middle class. I was proud to vote for this bill, and I look forward to seeing the change it will make for my constituents and for all Americans.”

The Inflation Reduction Act is paid for through 1) Cost savings achieved by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with drug manufacturers and 2) Tax reforms to ensure that big corporations and the richest Americans pay their fair share of taxes. The bill’s income tax provisions will only affect Americans making over $400,000/year.

The Inflation Reduction Act will:

Lower Health Care Costs for Families and Seniors

  • Lower the cost of health care for millions by extending ACA subsidies for three more years, locking in lower health care premiums that save 13 million people an average of $800/year.
  • Cap Medicare out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000/year, with the option to break that amount into affordable monthly payments. Today, there is no cap on spending for prescription drugs that seniors buy from pharmacies, forcing some patients with complicated conditions like cancer to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.
  • Cap insulin costs at $35/month for seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Medicare.
  • Provide free vaccines to seniors, the only population for whom vaccines are not already free. Under this provision, seniors will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines, shingles vaccines, and other necessary vaccines without a co-pay.
  • Expand Medicare premium and co-pay assistance on prescription drugs by fully expanding the low-income Medicare Part D subsidy program to people earning less than 150% of the federal poverty line. The average value of this assistance is around $5,000 per person.

Protect Medicare’s Long-Term Stability and Affordability

  • Stabilize Part D premiums in Medicare, ensuring that seniors and people with disabilities will not see their premiums increase by more than 6% year-to-year through 2029.
  • Prevent drugmakers from arbitrarily raising Medicare drug prices. In recent years, prescription drug manufacturers have hiked prices on prescription drugs far beyond the rate of inflation. This provision requires drug companies to rebate the difference back to Medicare if prices rise higher than inflation.
  • Allow Medicare to begin negotiating prescription drug prices to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Prevent future giveaways to the pharmaceutical industry by closing a loophole that would otherwise allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate the price of fewer drugs than permitted under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Create Jobs and Lower Energy Bills:

  • Create good-paying clean energy jobs with new production and investment tax credits to increase U.S. manufacturing and production of clean energy, clean technology, heat pumps, critical minerals processing, and electric vehicles.
  • Lower consumer energy costs by funding home energy rebate and tax credit programs with a focus on low-income consumers. These provisions will help Americans retrofit their homes with energy-efficient appliances and green technology, including rooftop solar, heat bumps, and electric HVAC and water heaters.

Cut Pollution and Invest in Equitable Growth:

  • Reduce energy emissions and pollution by investing in clean energy, clean energy storage, and locally led projects to address the impact of pollution and climate change with a focus on disadvantaged communities.
  • Invest in equitable public transit growth to expand transportation options in low and middle-income communities.
  • Lower the cost of electric vehicles by providing a $4,000 consumer tax credit for consumers to buy used electric vehicles and up to $7,500 tax credit to buy new clean vehicles.

Build a Fairer Tax Code:

  • Impose a 15% minimum corporate tax to ensure that corporations pay their fair share.
  • Invests $80 billion in tax enforcement to stop the richest Americans from dodging their tax responsibilities.