With their narrow majority, the Democrats in the House of Representatives allowed on Friday, August 12, the final adoption of US President Joe Biden’s vast climate and health investment plan after a similar vote in the Senate a few days later. back.
The text, which should put the country on the right track to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets, will be signed by Mr. Biden next week. “The American people won today”– wrote the American president on his twitter account. With this law “Families will see lower prices for medicines, medical care and energy costs.”
This over $430 billion (€420 billion) reform, approved by most associations fighting climate change, includes $370 billion for the environment and $64 billion for health care.
Reducing the government deficit
Dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act,” the plan simultaneously aims to reduce the government deficit with a new minimum tax of 15% on all companies whose profits exceed one billion dollars. “It is a holiday today”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, right before the vote, said who thinks this law will allow American families “to prosper, and our planet to survive.”
The Republican camp, for its part, accuses the text of creating unnecessary government spending and denounces the use of US tax authorities to fund it. Former President Donald Trump called on his social network Truth Social all Republicans to speak out against this.
Having come to power with massive reform projects, Joe Biden initially called for an even bigger investment plan. But elected Democrats have gradually had to revise their ambitions downward to please, in particular, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state famous for its coal mines. His support was needed to pass the Senate stage.
“Source of Hope”
The text remains, against all odds, the largest investment ever made in the United States for climate. It should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The goal set by Joe Biden is a reduction of at least 50% by this date, but other measures, in particular regulatory ones, can partially fill the gap, experts say. .
“This law is a game-changer and gives hope”, welcomed Joanna Chao Kreilik, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists. The measures taken are “encourage other countries to step up their commitments”greeted on Friday by Dan Laschoff, director of the World Resources Institute in the US.
“Creating strong incentives for investment in solar and wind energy, [le texte] will virtually exhaust the coal-fired electricity market within the next decade.”he summed up this week.
Thanks to this reform, an American will receive up to $7,500 in tax credits for the purchase of an electric car. Installation of solar panels on its roof will be covered by 30%. Investments in the development of CO capture are also planned.2resilience of forests to fires or renovation of housing for the most modest households.
Several billion dollars in tax breaks will also be offered to the most polluting industries to help them switch to energy, a measure heavily criticized by the party’s left wing, which should have backed the text no matter what.
The second part of this major investment plan aims to address the huge disparity in access to health care in the United States, in part by lowering drug prices. Medicare, a public health insurance system designed specifically for people over 65, will for the first time be able to negotiate prices for certain drugs directly with pharmaceutical companies and thus receive more competitive prices. Older people will also be guaranteed not to have to pay more than $2,000 a year for medicines starting in 2025.
The bill also plans to expand the protection of the Affordable Care Act, a symbolic health insurance policy better known as Obamacare, which contains measures to make it easier to access health insurance through subsidies to help families pay for their health insurance.