Veronica Escobar | Guest columnist
Last month, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 5376, also known as the Inflation Reduction Act. Congressional Democrats passed this historic bill on a party-line vote, which provides the most significant investments in the American people, the economy, and the planet in generations.
While the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act is broad and wide-ranging, I wanted to share with El Pasoans exactly how this legislation directly helps our community, primarily through the historic reduction in health care costs for thousands of El Pasoans.
Affordable Care Act provisions
There are about 57,000 people in El Paso currently enrolled in subsidized marketplace health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With open enrollment for 2023 beginning in less than two months, it was critical that we included these provisions. As a result:
- The average enrolled El Pasoan is expected to save $470 in premiums starting next year.
- A family in El Paso with two adults, two children, and a household income of $75,000 could save $2,832 on their premiums next year. Without the Inflation Reduction Act, their premiums would have increased by 71%.
- A single-parent household with one adult, one child, and a household income of $30,000 could save $1,260 on their premiums next year. Without the Inflation Reduction Act, their premiums would have increased by 477%.
The Inflation Reduction Act also lowers the cost of prescription drug prices, helping El Pasoans struggling to afford their medications.
Cap on Medicare prescription drugs
Starting in 2025, we’ve capped the annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D for beneficiaries at $2,000 per year. This will benefit the over 3,000 El Pasoans that paid over $2,000 in 2020.
Another key provision of the Inflation Reduction Act I’m thrilled about is the savings on insulin it provides. Beginning next year, monthly copayments for insulin will be capped at $35/month for Medicare beneficiaries. Think about how much money our 11,800 El Pasoans on Medicare using insulin will save.
Lowers energy costs
The Inflation Reduction Act also lowers energy costs while tackling the climate crisis. In addition to saving the average American family $1,025/year on energy costs, we’re investing $369 billion to tackle the climate crisis – the single biggest investment in this fight in American history.
It is remarkable that congressional Democrats were able to get this to the president’s desk given the historic 50-50 Senate and our slim majority in the House of Representatives.
Lowering health care costs and protecting our planet have been top priorities for Democrats, and we won’t stop delivering for the American people. The work we’ve accomplished – frequently without any Republican support – over the last two years and the challenges we are determined to face head on – codifying abortion rights, keeping assault weapons off our streets, reforming our outdated immigration system, and so much more – is at the heart of our commitment to putting people over politics.
Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, is U.S. representative for Texas’ 16th congressional district.