What's in the big Biden bill?  Health and climate targets become law

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden entered the White House promising to “rebuild” America, and the legislation he signed into law Tuesday offers a scaled-down, but not insignificant, version of that once sweeping idea.

Passed by a divided Congress, the bill brings the largest investment ever made in the US. fight climate change. Also in the legislation is a $2,000 cap on prescription drug out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries, as well as a new corporate minimum tax of 15% to ensure that the big companies pay their share.

And billions will be left to pay federal deficits.

Overall, the Democrats “Inflation Reduction Law” may not do much to tame immediately inflationary price increases. But the package, an election-year turnaround after higher versions collapsed, will touch countless American lives and secure long-term party goals.

Only Democrats supported the package, while Republicans lined up against him. Republicans deride the 730-page bill as a gross government overreach and point to particular criticism of its $80 billion investment in the IRS to hire new employees and go after tax violators.

Voters will have to figure it out in the November election, when control of Congress will be decided.

Not as strong as Biden’s initial ideas for rebuild America’s public infrastructure Y family support systems this is what’s in it estimated $740 billion package, made up of $440 billion in new spending and $300 billion to alleviate deficits.

LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS

Launching a long-sought goal, the bill would allow the Medicare program to negotiate some prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, which would save the federal government about $288 billion over the 10-year budget period.

The result is expected to lower drug costs for seniors, including a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for seniors who fill prescriptions at pharmacies.

The revenue raised would also be used to provide free vaccines to seniors, who are now among the few not guaranteed free access, according to a summary document.

Seniors would also have insulin prices capped at $35 per month.

HELP PAYING FOR HEALTH INSURANCE

The bill would extend the subsidies granted during the covid-19 pandemic to help some Americans who buy health insurance on their own.

Under the previous pandemic relief, the extra help was due to expire this year. But the bill would allow the assistance to continue for three more years, lowering insurance premiums for some 13 million people who buy their own health care policies through the Affordable Care Act.

LARGEST US INVESTMENT ‘BY FAR’ IN CLIMATE CHANGE

The bill would inject nearly $375 billion over the decade into climate change strategies that Democrats say could put the country on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, and “ It would represent the largest climate investment in US history by far.”

For consumers, that means tax breaks to buy electric vehicles — $4,000 for the purchase of used vehicles and up to $7,500 for new ones, eligible for households with incomes of $300,000 or less for couples or singles with incomes of $150,000 or less.

Not all electric vehicles will fully qualify for tax creditsthanks to requirements that components be manufactured and assembled in the US, and excludes more expensive cars costing more than $55,000 and SUVs and trucks priced more than $80,000.

There are also tax breaks for consumers to go green. One is a 10-year consumer tax credit for renewable energy investments in wind and solar power.

For businesses, the bill has $60 billion for a tax credit for clean energy production and $30 billion for a tax credit for wind and solar energy production, seen as ways to boost and support businesses. industries that can help curb the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The bill also provides tax credits for nuclear power and carbon capture technology that oil companies like Exxon Mobil have spent millions of dollars advancing.

The bill would impose a new fee on excess methane emissions from oil and gas drilling, while giving fossil fuel companies access to more leases on federal land and waters.

A late addition pushed by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and other Democrats in Arizona, Nevada and Colorado would allocate $4 billion to combat a mega-drought in the West, including conservation efforts in the Colorado River Basin, which nearly 40 million Americans depend for drinking water.

HOW TO PAY ALL THIS?

One of the bill’s biggest revenue raisers is a new 15% minimum tax on corporations making more than $1 billion in annual profits.

It’s a way to clamp down on some 200 US companies that avoid paying the standard 21% corporate tax rate, including some that end up paying no tax at all.

The new corporate minimum tax would take effect after fiscal year 2022 and would raise more than $258 billion over the decade.

There will also be a new 1% excise tax on share repurchasegrossing some $74 billion during the decade.

The savings from allowing Medicare negotiations with drug companies are expected to generate $288 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The bill sticks with Biden’s original promise not to raise taxes on families or businesses making less than $400,000 a year.

However, money is also raised by prompting the IRS to prosecute tax fraud. The bill proposes an $80 billion investment in taxpayer services, enforcement and modernization, which is projected to raise $203 billion in new revenue, a net gain of $124 billion over the decade.

Synema was instrumental in eliminating other tax proposals and shape the final plan.

EXTRA MONEY TO PAY DEFICIT

With some $740 billion in new revenue and about $440 billion in new investment, the bill promises to put the difference of about $300 billion toward deficit reduction.

Federal deficits have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic as federal spending soared and tax revenues fell as the nation’s economy churned through shutdowns, office closings and other massive changes.

The nation has seen deficits rise and fall in recent years. But the overall federal budget is on an unsustainable path, according to the Congressional Budget Officewhich recently published a new report on long-term projections.

WHAT IS BEHIND?

The package, nowhere near the sweeping Build Back Better program Biden once envisioned, remains a sizable undertaking and, along with COVID-19 relief and the 2017 GOP tax cuts, is among the projects most important pieces of legislation from Congress in years.

Although Congress passed and Biden signed the law a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill for roads, broadband and other investments that were part of the White House’s initial vision, the Democrats’ other big priorities have vanished.

Gone, for now, are free pre-kindergarten and community college plans, as well as the nation’s first paid family leave program that would have provided up to $4,000 a month for births, deaths and other critical needs. The enhanced child care credit that provided $300 a month during the pandemic is also allowed to expire.

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Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

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