The US Congress votes on Biden’s great reform on climate and health

The US Congress will most likely adopt Joe Biden’s major reform on climate and health this Friday, a great victory for the US president with only a few months to go before the mid-term elections.

The debates on this law, which required months of negotiations with the centrist wing of the Democratic Party, began in the morning in the House of Representatives.

Barring a last-minute surprise, the chamber will adopt the text given that the Democrats have a majority.

The Senate approved this bill on Sunday that strengthens the Democrats before the legislative elections in November, whose result is uncertain and usually harms the party in power.

The text, acclaimed by associations fighting climate change, includes 370,000 million dollars for the environment and another 64,000 million for health.

Dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Law”, the law plans to reduce the public deficit with a new minimum tax of 15% for all companies whose profits exceed 1,000 million dollars.

Republicans criticize that public spending will be increased unnecessarily.

Former President Donald Trump used his Truth Social network to call on all Republicans to speak out against it.

– Climate investment –

Biden came to power with huge reform plans.

He initially proposed an even bigger investment plan, but Democrats were forced to scale back their ambitions to mostly satisfy Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state known for its coal mines. His support was essential because of the slim Democratic majority in the Senate.

Yet it remains the largest investment ever made in the United States in the climate.

Biden wants the country to meet his climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005.

The government even aspires to lower at least 50% for that year.

“It would be very difficult to overstate the importance of this bill,” Dan Lashof, director of the World Resources Institute, said this week. “By creating very strong incentives to invest in solar and wind power, it will virtually dry up the market for coal-fired electricity for the next decade.”

With this reform, an American will receive up to 7,500 dollars in tax credits for the purchase of an electric car and the installation of solar panels on rooftops will be subsidized by 30%.

Investments are also planned for the development of CO2 capture techniques, the care of forests and the renovation of homes for families with fewer resources.

Billions of dollars in tax credits will also be offered to the most polluting industries to help them in the energy transition, a measure highly criticized by the left of the party, which despite everything had to accept it.

Many Latinos benefit from the law because, according to the Climate Power movement, 40% of households with the most difficulty paying energy bills in the United States are Latino and 50% are African-American.

– Cheaper drugs –

The second most important part of this investment plan corrects the enormous inequalities in access to health care in the United States, in particular by reducing the price of medicines.

Medicare, a public health system intended, among others, for those over 65 years of age, will for the first time be able to directly negotiate the prices of some medications with pharmaceutical companies, in order to lower them.

It also guarantees seniors that they pay no more than $2,000 per year for their medications, starting in 2025.

Cheaper medicines help the Latino community in particular, especially those who are insulin dependent. According to the Department of Health, in 2018 Hispanics were 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to die from diabetes.

The bill also plans to extend the protections of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance reform law, better known as “Obamacare”, which contained subsidies to help families pay for health coverage.

Once approved by Congress, the text will need the signature of Biden, who suffers great political wear in the face of the November midterm elections.

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