From The Hill…..
The House is expected to approve the legislation on Friday and send it to Biden’s desk.
Here’s a summary of what’s in the Inflation Reduction Act:
ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND CLIMATE
Businesses would get incentives for deployment of lower-carbon and carbon-free energy sources.
- Tax credits are extended for energy production and investment in technologies including wind, solar and geothermal energies. The investment tax credit also now applies to battery storage and biogas.
- Tax credits would be created or extended for additional technologies and energy sources including nuclear energy, hydrogen energy coming from clean sources, biofuels and technology that captures carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
- Many of the incentives also contain bonuses for companies based on how much they pay their workers and offer credits for manufacturing their steel, iron and other components in the U.S.
Consumers and businesses get incentives to make cleaner energy choices.
- Tax credits are extended for residential clean energy expenses including rooftop solar, heat pumps and small wind energy systems. Consumers can get credits for 30 percent of expenditures through 2032, and the credit phases down after that.
- Tax credits of up to $7,500 are offered to consumers who buy electric vehicles — but this credit comes with stipulations that may make it difficult for vehicles to actually qualify.
- A tax credit would be expanded for energy efficiency in commercial buildings.
Some fossil fuel production on public lands would be bolstered.
- The future of solar and wind on public lands and wind in public waters would be tied to requirements to hold lease sales that open up new oil and gas production.
- The bill reinstates the results of a recent offshore oil and gas lease sale that was struck down on environmental grounds. The Interior Department would be required to hold at least three more offshore oil and gas lease sales by next October.
New programs boost investment in climate.
- A new program aims to reduce emissions of the planet-warming gas methane from oil and gas by both providing grants and loans to help companies reign in their emissions and levying fees on producers with excess methane emissions.
- $27 billion would go to a green bank that would provide more incentives for clean energy technology.
Medicare can negotiate lower prices.
The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate prices for some drugs for the first time, a policy Democrats have been trying to enact for years over the fierce objections of the pharmaceutical industry. The provisions save more than $200 billion over 10 years.
- It would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for 10 high-cost drugs beginning in 2026, ramping up to 20 drugs by 2029. There is a steep penalty if a drug company doesn’t come to the table: a tax of up to 95 percent of the sales of the drug. There is also a ceiling that the negotiated price cannot rise above.
- In a deal with moderates including Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), only older drugs are subject to negotiation after a period of nine years for most drugs and 13 years for more complex “biologic” drugs. That means the negotiations are more limited than many Democrats wanted.
Drug costs can be capped but largely only for Medicare.
The bill includes other measures to cap drug costs. The provisions still largely apply only to seniors on Medicare, not the millions of people who get health insurance through their jobs, in part because complex Senate rules limited how expansive the provisions would be.
- If drug companies raise prices in Medicare faster than the rate of inflation, they must pay rebates back to the government for the difference.
- Democrats tried to apply this provision to the private market, but the parliamentarian ruled it violated the Senate rules used to bypass a GOP filibuster.
- In one of the most tangible provisions for patients, the bill caps out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 a year for seniors on Medicare, starting in 2025.
- The bill also caps patients’ insulin costs at $35 a month, but only for seniors on Medicare. Republicans voted against overruling the Senate parliamentarian to extend that protection to patients with private insurance.
People enrolled in ACA plans get an extension on premium assistance.
The measure also builds on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by extending enhanced financial assistance to help people enrolled in ACA plans afford premiums for three years. The extra help otherwise would have expired at the end of this year, setting up a cliff. The provision expands eligibility to allow more middle-class people to receive premium help and increases the amount of help overall….