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Connecticut leaders tout Senate's passage of Inflation Reduction Act

Democratic Lawmakers Hold Media Availability To Mark June As 'Gun Violence Prevention Month'
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U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (left) and Chris Murphy supported passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The U.S. House is expected to take up the legislation as early as Friday.

Connecticut leaders and advocates are applauding legislation the U.S. Senate passed Sunday that tackles climate change, high prescription drug prices and inflation.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes a historic investment to fight climate change – $369 billion for clean energy technology and emissions reduction over the next 10 years.

“If we don’t make different decisions about the pace of pollution in this world, the next generation isn’t going to be able to fix it,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said at a news conference Monday.

Murphy said that estimates suggest the investments would create up to 9 million jobs in the clean energy economy.

Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, noted that the bill reflects the importance of the U.S. investing in climate action “as a way to catalyze other nations to take action and achieve the rapid decarbonization necessary to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.”

The legislation also makes a payment of $300 billion on deficit reduction to fight inflation.

Another large part of the bill would also grant Medicare the power to negotiate prices of some prescription drugs and cap out-of-pocket medication costs for Medicare recipients at $2,000 a year.

Prescription costs remain a problem for seniors, Murphy said.

“Millions of seniors don’t take the medication they’re prescribed because they can’t afford it,” he said.

One of those medications is insulin. Murphy says there is a price cap for seniors, but a provision to cap insulin costs for private insurers was voted out of the deal by Senate Republicans.

Nora Duncan, state director at AARP Connecticut, said the Inflation Reduction Act would bring seniors relief.

“For 20 years, it’s been illegal for Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. And that is finally over," Duncan said.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal added that insulin and prescription costs are just one of the areas where more work needs to be done on a federal level.

“There is more work to do, not only on insulin costs, but let me emphasize on child care, which is absolutely essential for Connecticut. And for the rest of the country,” he said. “There’s more work to do on climate change.”

The U.S. House is expected to take up the legislation as early as Friday.

Michayla Savitt was a summer 2022 newsroom intern at Connecticut Public, and covered environmental and health issues. She is finishing up her graduate degree at the CUNY School of Journalism, and can often be found exploring NYC or seeking new music.

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