Three takeaways on what the Inflation Reduction Act means for health care

·2 min read

Story at a glance

  • On Sunday, the Senate passed a broad bundle of bills called the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • The package included legislation to combat climate change, address taxes and health care.

  • If passed, the legislation would allow Medicare to cap the price of prescription drugs at $2,000 a year and extend subsidies for the Affordable Care Act.

The Inflation Reduction Act is now on its way to the House of Representatives after The Senate passed the 755-page-long piece of legislation on Sunday.

The broad package of bills, which the House will vote on Friday, features the most significant efforts to combat climate change ever passed by the Senate and some of the country’s most significant health care legislation.

If passed, here a few ways the legislation would impact future health care for Americans.

Caps the price of insulin for some diabetics

Prescription drugs in the United States are expensive with the average asking price for a bottle of insulin coming in at almost $100, according to an analysis from the Rand Corporation.

Initially, the $430 billion package included a bill that capped the monthly cost of insulin at $35 for Americans not covered by Medicare, but Senate Republicans blocked that piece of legislation from being included in the IRA.

But the package does cap the price of the life-sustaining medication, which diabetics use to regulate blood sugar, at $35 a month for people covered by Medicare.

Allows for some Americans to pay less for prescriptions 

The bill allows for Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs and cap the out-of-pocket costs for medications at $2,000 every year starting in 2025.  It is still unclear just how much money Americans will save on drugs and the earliest Americans would be able to see any savings would be 2026. The government would start negotiating the price of 10 drugs by 2026 and up to 20 by 2029.

Expands Affordable Care Act Program 

Expiring subsidies for Affordable Care Act health insurance would be extended until the next three years under the legislation. This means that the roughly 13 million Americans who purchase their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, can get financial assistance until 2025.

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