Today's historic vote on the Inflation Reduction Act will provide investments and economic benefits needed by families, older people, and in the fight to halt climate change. Although the NAACP has advocated for even broader investments, the Association commends today's vote and looks forward to the bill being signed into law.
For millions of Americans, the Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost of healthcare. Specifically, the bill will allow Americans to have more money in their pockets by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and providing subsidies that will save consumers about $800 under the Affordable Care Act. For one out of three Medicare patients with diabetes, the high cost of insulin has finally been capped at $35 per month.
The legislation builds a new clean energy manufacturing economy by investing in refurbishing old factories, building new factories, requiring high wages, and mandating apprenticeship training for companies using clean energy tax credits. These investments will bring jobs with living wage opportunities to communities of color suffering from an absence of investment. Nearly 7 billion in combined grants would be significant for low-income households and target disadvantaged communities.
Today's vote misses a key opportunity to address the economic stress faced more heavily by Black Americans. Inflation has created additional barriers for first-time buyers struggling to purchase a home. Many Black Americans face high-interest rates compounded by student debt and a high debt-to-income ratio. It also relies heavily on energy credits instead of direct investments for its climate investments. The Inflation Reduction Act does not address these issues, which represents a missed opportunity for targeted relief.
Although imperfect, the Inflation Reduction Act represents wholesale progress on behalf of the American people. With much remaining to be done on issues like student debt relief, the NAACP commends the Biden Administration and the U.S. House of Representatives on today's historic vote and the progress it represents.