Last Friday, August 12, the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. This historic legislation will significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs and healthcare in the US.
According to the bill, in 2025, out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will cap at $2,000 a month for people on Medicare. Furthermore, in 2026, the Health and Human Services secretary will have the opportunity to negotiate the prices of 10 drugs purchased at the pharmacy and in 2029 this number will increase to 20. This will lead to significantly cheaper prices for prescription drug users in America.
Previously, lawmakers had discussed extending the enhanced federal premium subsidies for Obamacare coverage until 2024, but the IRA extends this to 2025. Allowing ACA users to have coverage beyond the next election. A little over $64 billion will go towards extending these subsidies which reduces the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans.
The first draft of the bill included a $35/month cap on insulin in the private insurance market but it was ruled out by the Senate parliamentarian as it did not adhere to Senate reconciliation rules.
By reducing the cost of prescription drugs for individuals on Medicare and extending the life of ACA subsidies, the IRA helps to save millions of people money and protects their right to health care.