Professor Robert I. Field appeared on the Aug. 24 episode of KYW-Newsradio’s “In Depth” podcast to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act and its implications for health care.
Signed into law on Aug. 16, the Inflation Reduction Act lowers prescription drug costs, health care costs, and energy costs. According to a White House press release, “The Inflation Reduction Act will protect Medicare recipients from catastrophic drug costs by phasing in a cap for out-of-pocket costs and establishing a $35 cap for a month’s supply of insulin.” Also, for the first time, Medicare will be able to negotiate prices for high-cost drugs.
Field called the act “a very significant piece of legislation” and probably the most significant follow-up to the Affordable Care Act.
“I think it's a very big deal both directly in the short term, extending subsidies for people who buy ACA policies, lowering the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, allowing the government to negotiate drug prices, but also in long term, it sets a framework for expanding,” Field said.
Field discussed the continuation of the subsidies that expanded the no-cost policies up to about 150 percent of the poverty level and eliminated the cliff of 400 percent of the poverty level, as long as people’s health costs are more than 8.5 percent of their income.
Now the subsidies can continue and will allow more people to have coverage, which will ultimately save lives and potentially prevent individual bankruptcy from patients paying out of pocket for vastly expensive health care treatments.
The prescription drug coverage will be phased in over the next few years. Field deemed the act a loss for the pharmaceutical industry and said they’re planning lawsuits to challenge it.