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Inflation Reduction Act

New and essential legislation has passed through Congress recently. The most recent bill that passed the House this summer was the Inflation Reduction Act. It passed with a party-line vote of 220-207 after the Senate passed the measure on a 51-50 vote margin, with Vice President Harris having to cast the tie-breaking vote. It is now official as President Biden signed the bill making the legislative package law. 

What is the Inflation Reduction Act? 

The Inflation Reduction Act was designed to address inflation by lowering the national deficit with new revenues collected from the wealthiest corporations and richest citizens with incomes over $400K per year. Unfair loopholes or tax cheats meant they were not paying their fair share of taxes. “This law also changes a system that works for a pharmaceutical industry with record profits for their executives and shareholders, while patients struggled to afford drugs, they need to stay healthy and/or alive,” says Gary Faley, NARVRE’s National Legislative Director. The bill also repeals the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act. The Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act prevented Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. Starting in 2023, Medicare will have the ability to begin negotiating directly with the pharmaceutical industry on the cost of prescription drugs. 

The bill will also cap seniors’ annual out-of-pocket expenses on prescription medicine at $2000, as well as significantly reducing the price of insulin so that Medicare patients will no longer pay more than $35 per month out-of-pocket for their insulin. This provision hopes to aid the one in three beneficiaries who are diagnosed with diabetes. This equates to 3.3 million Americans that depend on insulin. The new law will strengthen Medicare’s finances.  

A clap on the back to NARVRE and all the members that reached out to Congress to finally get these issues addressed and subsequently set into motion the passing of the legislation. We should all know where our Representatives and Senators stand on these issues and remember it come election day (November 8th). 

“As seniors, railroad retirement beneficiaries, and constituents, we need to elect serious thinkers on Election Day,” continues Legislative Director Gary Faley. 

“Which candidates promise to protect seniors that rely on health and retirement programs which we already paid for in our working years? Who will protect our retirement benefits, and who threatens them?” 

For 85 years, NARVRE has been keeping its members abreast of any legislation that could threaten our benefits, and then we fight in Washington, D.C., to keep them intact. We plan to continue our mission for years to come. If you are not yet a member of NARVRE, consider joining today. You can find us on Facebook or speak to your local affiliates, and they will walk you through becoming a member.