BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King, (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today applauded President Joe Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act, a historic package to address rising energy and healthcare costs, fight climate change, and create thousands of good-paying jobs. The new, fully paid for law includes Senator King’s proposals for a 15% corporate minimum tax and stronger IRS tax enforcement to reduce the deficit by trillions. You can read Senator King’s full thoughts on the Inflation Reduction Act in an op-ed HERE.
“Today, the United States has taken a major step to address rising expenses and bring both immediate and long-term inflation relief to the American people. Now law, the Inflation Reduction Act will lower healthcare and energy costs, fight climate change, and reduce the deficit,” said Senator King. “The package will cut energy costs and address climate change with the largest-ever investment in American renewable technologies that will save Maine people thousands of dollars a year on their energy bills. The Inflation Reduction Act also takes commonsense steps to reduce drug costs for seniors by capping Medicare recipients’ out-of-pocket drug costs and allowing Medicare to finally negotiate the price it pays for pharmaceuticals. Along with these unprecedented cost-cutting investments, the law includes my provisions to reduce the deficit by trillions by making sure massive corporations are paying their fair share.
“The bottom line: this will mean more money in the pockets of Maine’s working people and seniors, and a brighter future for our economy and planet,” continued Senator King. “I’m deeply grateful for the work of President Biden and my colleagues across Congress who helped make this historic, inflation-fighting legislation possible.”
The Inflation Reduction Act will:
LOWER HEALTH CARE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS
- Empower Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. The Inflation Reduction Act allows Medicare to negotiate a significantly discounted price for the prescription drugs they buy from pharmaceutical companies. This will save taxpayers hundreds-of-billions.
- Cap Medicare patients’ out of pocket costs at $2,000 per year. Today, there is no cap on spending for prescription drugs seniors buy from pharmacies. The Inflation Reduction Act caps Medicare’s out of pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year, ensuring that devastating diagnoses, like cancer, will never again mean paying tens of thousands for just one drug.
- Institute a new “inflation rebate” under Medicare. Drug companies should not be allowed to make arbitrary and rapid price increases on products that are not changing year-to-year. The Inflation Reduction Act requires drug companies to rebate back the difference to Medicare if they raise prices higher than inflation.
- Provide free vaccines for seniors. The Inflation Reduction Act makes all vaccines free in Medicare for seniors, the only population for which vaccines were not already free.
- Expand premium and co-pay assistance on prescription drugs for low-income individuals. Currently, the low-income subsidy program (LIS) under Medicare Part D is fully available to all seniors earning less than 135% of the federal poverty level, and partially available to seniors earning less than 150% of the federal policy level. The Inflation Reduction Act eliminates the partial subsidy status, giving those seniors the full low-income subsidy under Medicare Part D.
- Extend Affordable Care Act premium subsides. The Inflation Reduction Act makes a three year extension of premium subsidies for American’s who receive their healthcare through the Affordable Care Act – more than 100,000 Maine people.
CUT ENERGY COSTS AND ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
- Make the largest ever investment in clean energy. The Inflation Reduction Act includes $260 billion in clean energy tax credits – the largest investment ever in renewable energy technologies. This will reduce carbon emissions by 40% in just a few years, and create countless manufacturing and production jobs across the country.
- Support energy efficiency and cost-saving programs. Included in the Inflation Reduction Act is $80 billion for energy saving rebates. This will help Maine people purchase cost-saving technologies like heat pumps, better insulation, or home solar panels.
- Invest in the production of American oil and gas. The Inflation Reduction Act expands leasing of oil and gas on federal lands to increase the supply of American fossil fuels and drive down prices for consumers as the country transitions to clean energy.
- Boost efforts to fight climate change. Along with support for a clean energy transition, the Inflation Reduction Act contains several major provisions to address climate change. The bill has $1.5 billion in rewards for cutting methane emissions, $27 billion for a “green” technology bank, and significant support for clean transportation.
REDUCE THE DEFICT AND CLOSE TAX LOOPHOLES
- Fund the IRS to go after high-earning tax cheats to improve tax compliance. Some of America’s wealthiest have taken advantage of an underfunded Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to avoid paying the taxes they owe. The Inflation Reduction Act boosts IRS funding by $80 billion for better enforcement that will net $125 billion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. This bill reflects the same priorities as the STOP Cheaters Act that Senator King introduced in May 2021.
- Enforce a 15% Corporate Minimum Tax. Many of America’s largest companies exploit loopholes to pay little to no taxes – it’s not fair to taxpayers. The Inflation Reduction Act includes a corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) provision, based on Senator King’s Real Corporate Profits Minimum Tax Act, that imposes a 15% minimum tax on corporations with profits of more than $1 billion, raising more than $220 billion in the next 10 years.
- Reduce the deficit for years to come. In total, the Inflation Reduction Act is projected to reduce the deficit by $1.9 trillion over the next two decades.