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Rep. Barragán Votes to Combat Climate Crisis, Lower Prescription Drug and Healthcare Costs

The Inflation Reduction Act will lower costs for Americans and make our tax code fairer while making historic investments in clean energy and environmental justice

12 August 2022

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a historic climate change and healthcare bill that will reduce pollution, lower costs for Medicare recipients, and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes—all while fighting inflation and reducing the deficit. The legislation includes unprecedented investments secured by Rep. Barragán to reduce emissions from ports and support climate justice grants for disadvantaged communities. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.

The bill includes $3 billion to reduce air pollution at ports with zero-emissions equipment and technology, based off of Barragán’s Climate Smart Ports Act. Almost 40 percent of Americans live within three miles of a port, and they are disproportionately communities of color. The investments from the Climate Smart Ports Act will accelerate the transition to zero-emissions at ports across the country, including the Port of Los Angeles, and help port communities breathe easier.

The bill also includes $3 billion in climate and environmental justice grants, based off of Barragán’s Climate Justice Grants Act. This investment will drive thousands of community-led clean energy and climate resiliency projects in disadvantaged communities, such as community solar or tree plantings.

Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act would lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs for seniors, halting the pharmaceutical industry’s outrageous Medicare drug price hikes above inflation, and ensuring Medicare recipients with diabetes don’t pay more than $35 per month for their insulin. It would also lower health care costs by extending the expanded Affordable Care Act for three additional years, saving 13 million people an average of $800 a year.

“I am proud to have voted today for this historic bill that will help everyday Americans!” said Rep. Barragán. “With today’s vote, the federal government is finally stepping up to address the climate crisis and rising prescription drug prices, while making sure large corporations pay their fair share. For my constituents near the Port of Los Angeles who have advocated for zero-emissions solutions for decades, a future free of polluting trucks just took a big step closer. For environmental justice communities in my district and throughout the country, we will finally give you the resources to fight pollution and climate change locally, on your terms.  The health of our communities and our planet are worth fighting for, and it’s going to take continued work to win a sustainable future. We cannot and will not let up until we deliver clean air, clean water, and clean energy for every community.

“At a time when drug companies are raking in record profits, Medicare, for the first time ever, will be empowered to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This will significantly reduce costs for our seniors and their families who are helping them afford their prescription drugs.

“The average American family can expect to see their energy costs go down by up to $1,000 annually. The Climate Smart Ports Act, which I led, will work to reduce emissions at the Port of Los Angeles and across the country.  The Climate Justice Grants Act will put billions towards cleaning up communities unfairly impacted by pollution and climate change.

“I am disappointed that we were not able to include universal childcare and pre-K, home care, affordable housing, and justice for immigrants in the package, and Democrats will continue fighting for those provisions in a future bill. We’ve had our ups and downs on this bill, but this legislation offers the most progressive vision of America yet. I am so honored to have played a part in this process and to now see this bill head to the President’s desk.” 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will reduce healthcare costs for seniors by:

  • Empowering the Secretary of HHS to negotiate prescription drug prices for high-priced drugs in Medicare,
  • Capping Medicare part D out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 per year, with the option to break that amount into affordable monthly payments,
  • Capping the price of insulin for Medicare recipients at $35 a month,
  • Establishing a $0 copayment for vaccines in Medicare Part D, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS),
  • Penalizing drug manufacturers if they unfairly increase their Medicare Part B or D prices faster than the rate of inflation, and;
  • Expanding Medicare Part D assistance for premiums and copayments by increased in the income eligibility to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. 

This bill lowers healthcare costs for millions of Americans by:

  • Immediately extending the enhanced Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) to keep health coverage accessible and affordable for millions for three additional years.

The bill will help address the climate crisis by:

  • Providing tax credits for low and middle-income Americans who switch to clean energy alternatives like solar panels and heat pumps,
  • Reducing energy costs for average Americans by $1,000 per year,
  • Allocating $6 billion to reduce pollution at ports and clean up communities unfairly impacted by pollution,
  • Reducing America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and;
  • Creating 9 million good-paying, clean energy union jobs over the next decade.

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Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington. She serves as chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security.