August 08, 2022

Durbin, Duckworth heap praise on Inflation Reduction Act passage

Source: Crain's Chicago Business


Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) praised the Senate’s passage on Sunday of the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to address climate change, prescription drug prices, Obamacare subsidies and corporate taxes.

“This plan is fully paid for by finally cracking down on Big Pharma greed and tax cheats, and closing tax loopholes exploited by wealthy corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes—and no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay more in taxes because of our plan,” Durbin said in a statement following the 51-50 passage of the scaled-down measure backed by President Joe Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris broke the party-line tie with her vote for the bill, which now goes to the House.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, like Durbin, was among the Senate Democrats who voted for the measure and largely voted in a unified fashion to defeat a series of Republican amendments. In a tweet, Duckworth said, "This is going to have a real, positive impact on so many families, and I’m proud to have helped get it done."

On Saturday, in a floor speech in support of the measure, Durbin highlighted the bill’s provision that would cap seniors’ out-of-pocket payments for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year. Durbin said many seniors can’t afford to fill their prescriptions or they spread out doses.

“Is it a serious problem?” Durbin said. “Well, just ask Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago—and I have. What's the impact of these inflated prescription drug prices on health care premiums? Blue Cross Blue Shield said to me, it's the number-one driver of increased health insurance premium costs. The cost of prescription drugs. So when we start bringing down these costs, we're also going to create a situation where we have less incentive to increase premiums for health insurance.”

By:  Mark Walsh