A big problem | Richmond Free Press

Let’s be clear.

Your grocery bill won’t go down and your rent won’t go down because President Biden signed the Cut Inflation Action on Tuesday.

But make no mistake, this bill has all the hallmarks of a big problem.

This new law will allow this country to make its biggest investment ever to encourage us all, through tax credits, to get involved in the fight against climate change.

Equally important, this legislation will immediately reduce the cost of life-saving drugs for seniors on Medicare, also crack down on wealthy tax cheats, and prevent big business from avoiding paying their fair share of government costs.

We agree with President Biden that this is the kind of important legislation we want from Congress.

Although he doesn’t go as far as his original Build Back Better plan, he sees the sweeping legislation as helping “to build a future where everyone has an equal chance.” This is the America I believe in.

Of course, let’s not forget, every Republican in Congress declined to support the bill, an indication of where they stand.

Seniors, including many of us, will benefit from the provision that caps out-of-pocket Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 per year.

This is a big problem for our black seniors whose data shows they are 1.5 times more likely than white Americans to report difficulty getting medication.

For seniors with diabetes on Medicare, the cost of insulin will be capped at $35 per year.

But not for anyone else because Republicans successfully blocked a Democratic proposal to extend that cap to private insurance, which Virginia Democrats were able to do in that state. Instead, GOP members shamefully pushed to keep the cost of this lifesaving drug as expensive as possible for as many people as possible.

The legislation will also provide more free vaccines, including one for shingles vaccines – which our community is twice as likely not to receive.

And for the first time, this law will allow Medicare to negotiate prices for some of the most expensive drugs in an effort to make them more affordable, capping a 30-year Democratic campaign to make that possible.

The law also maintains subsidies for Obamacare for three more years, extending one of the great Democratic achievements of the 21st century. The White House estimates that this provision alone will allow 500,000 black Americans to obtain health care policies with premiums ranging from $0 to $50.

The legislation provides incentives through tax credits to replace energy-intensive cooling and heating equipment, buy more energy-efficient appliances, and protect our homes from the elements.

According to some estimates, the credits could cover 30% of the cost.

There are also tax credit incentives to help landlords invest in such equipment for the benefit of tenants in their apartment communities and to enable solar projects in affordable developments.

Additionally, grants are given to plant trees to cool hot urban neighborhoods that are often home to people of color.

Additionally, the legislation includes more than $5 billion in relief for struggling black and minority farmers.

Republicans such as Senate Minority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have spoken out against the bill, saying it would impose job-killing taxes – which appears to mirror Republican allegations of voter fraud.

In fact, the new law will ensure for the first time that companies that make more than $1 billion in profits a year pay taxes and will strengthen efforts to ensure that people making $400,000 a year also pay taxes. their fair share.

If you don’t earn that much, the new law won’t change your tax rate, the White House said.

Let’s applaud those who stood up for us and remember those who didn’t at the polls.

If we want to have a Congress that can make big changes, we need to vote for those who want to participate and make a difference.

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