Undercurrent

White House projections tout impact of climate, health law on Nevada

By: - August 18, 2022 12:49 pm

The legislation includes tax credits ranging from $4,000 to $7,500 for purchasing electric vehicles starting Jan 1., 2023. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New projections released by the White House boast how clean energy tax credits and rebates, caps on insulin, and prescription drug pricing reform included in the Inflation Reduction Act will lower costs for Nevadans.

President Joe Biden signed the climate, health care and tax law Tuesday. Various provisions of the bill will start to take effect in 2023 while others won’t come into play for a few more years. 

The White House recently released a state-by-state fact sheet of some of the climate and health impacts. 

Climate provisions within the bill include $370 billion to clean energy programs, $15 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency to help reduce greenhouse gas, and $4.5 billion for Western drought preparedness and response. 

The legislation also provides rebates for households to make repairs and improvements to increase energy efficiency, tax credits covering 30% of the costs of community solar projects with bonus credits for affordable housing properties and projects in low-income communities, and tax credits ranging from $4,000 to $7,500 for purchasing electric vehicles, starting Jan. 1, 2023.

The White House estimates credits to install solar panels could lead to “75,000 additional Nevada households” installing rooftop panels. 

The bill also includes grants to state and local governments to adopt building energy codes, a move the White House says could help average new homeowners in Nevada save  $181 annually. 

The tax credits, the administration said, will lower energy costs and “make it more affordable for Nevada families to purchase energy efficient appliances when they need to make repairs around their homes and save money on their utility bills each month.”

Around 32,000 Nevadans are employed in clean energy jobs, and the legislation is expected to bring $2.7 billion of “investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Nevada between now and 2030,” according to the White House’s fact sheet. 

The package also brings long-sought-after reforms to health care and prescription drug pricing. 

More than 22,000 people on Medicare in Nevada are expected to have their insulin copay capped at $35 starting in 2023. 

Sarah Gleich, the executive director of the Nevada Diabetes Association, noted reports of people rationing insulin until payday in order to pay rent or make car payments, and even dying because they couldn’t afford the medication.  

“For a person that is insulin-dependent, you think about insulin every day,” she said. “The struggle is that it’s hard to stockpile and if something happens it’s the difference between living by taking a shot or food for the month. Insulin costs that much and is that important.”  

A provision to cap insulin copays for private insurance was stripped from the package after failing to get enough Republican support. Some Democrats have been mulling over bringing a standalone bill on insulin costs to the Senate floor. 

“It cost under 25 cents to make a non-designer rDNA insulin vial,” Gleich said. “Pharma says it’s insurance companies and being a middleman. Insurance says it’s research and development from Pharma. They are both wrong. Insulin should be something you can just pick up at the store like an aspirin. No insurance company required. It used to be this simple in the 90’s – and before.” 

The bill limits out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare prescription drugs at $2,000 annually beginning in 2025 and allows the federal government to negotiate some of the more expensive prescription drugs starting in 2026.

And starting in 2023, the legislation “will require $0 cost-sharing for vaccines for Medicare Part D beneficiaries,” according to the White House fact sheet. “Some 28,000 Nevada Medicare beneficiaries received a Part D vaccine in 2020, and that number is likely to rise as those vaccines become more affordable.”

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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