The U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act along party lines on Sunday, and the bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives. The California Medical Association (CMA) strongly supports this legislation, which will reduce Medicare’s unsustainably high prescription drugs costs, ensure continued availability of affordable health care coverage for millions of Californians under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and address the devastating impact of climate change on public health.
CMA applauds this long overdue, historic step toward reducing unsustainably high drug costs. The legislation would impose a penalty on drug companies that hike drug costs above the annual rate of inflation, and it would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers for up to 20 of the most expensive medications. As U.S. drug prices have skyrocketed over the last decade, important medications have become unaffordable, and 1 in 4 patients say they can’t fill their prescriptions because of cost. U.S. patients also pay significantly more for some medications than patients in our peer countries.
The legislation would also extend premium tax credits to ensure the continued availability of affordable ACA coverage for millions of low-income Californians, and aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, partly through incentives for clean energy and technology.
For more information, see CMA’s letter to Congress on the Inflation Reduction Act.