The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 was signed into law by President Biden on Aug. 16, 2022. The law includes $737 billion for energy, climate change and healthcare funding that are aimed to:
- reduce pollution and improve air quality;
- make homes more energy efficient;
- help people access affordable and energy efficient transportation;
- reduce costs of prescription drugs;
- improve access to quality, affordable healthcare.
All of these commitments will benefit people with asthma, allergies and related conditions. High-risk groups will especially benefit from the IRA. High-risk groups often suffer from the effects of pollution and access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
Here’s what you need to know about the IRA:
Energy & Environment
The climate change parts of the law are intended to improve the environment by:
- accelerating clean energy innovation;
- reducing carbon emissions;
- making clean air investments in underserved communities.
Key provisions in the law address:
- air pollution monitoring
- extreme heat risk
- indoor air pollution
- community engagement
Some of these provisions include:
- consumer home energy rebates for low-income households
- tax credits to help people afford electric cars
- tax credits to make homes more energy efficient
The IRA aims to reduce health insurance costs for patients, including those who use Medicare and Affordable Care Act benefits.
Drug pricing reforms
The law establishes a new Drug Price Negotiation Program. The federal government will negotiate a maximum price for high-cost medications starting in 2026. The negotiated prices will be for people using Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D. Part B covers medicines given in a medical setting. Part D covers prescription drugs.
The IRA caps Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year starting in 2025. Patients can break up that amount into monthly payments if they so choose.
The law also makes all vaccines free under Medicare for seniors starting in 2023. Seniors are the only population group for which vaccines were not already free.
Insurance tax credits
The law extends Affordable Care Act health insurance premium tax credits for three additional years. These tax credits offset the cost of insurance premiums purchased through the ACA marketplace.
Check with your health insurance provider on how the IRA may impact you.
Allergy & Asthma Network is pleased to see the IRA become law. The IRA funding will benefit people who live with asthma, allergies and related conditions. More than 24 million Americans – including 6 million children – have asthma and 50 million have allergies. Communities of color, the elderly, children, and underserved groups are among those most affected by these conditions.
With your help, we can continue to improve lives through new or improved federal laws. Join us by taking action on pending asthma and allergy legislation in Congress.