Saturday, September 24, 2022

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The health-care subsidy extension a relief for small businesses; Consumer groups press for a bill to reform credit reporting; and an international group aims to transform how people view peace and conflict.

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Condemnation of Russian war on Ukraine continues at the U.N, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there's need for worker training to rebuild Puerto Rico, the House takes on record corporate profits while consumers struggle with inflation.

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The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts two winters across the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act could level the playing field for rural electric co-ops, and pharmacies are dwindling in rural America.

Vote Expected Friday in U.S. House on Inflation-Reduction Act

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Thursday, August 11, 2022   

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on the bill, which already has passed the Senate. Anthony Wright, executive director of the Health Access California, said it includes many proposals activists have pursued for years.

"It would allow the government to negotiate down prices for the most expensive drugs," said Wright. "It would cap Medicare costs for medications, and it would require rebates if prices rose greater than the rate of inflation. That would help millions of Californians."

The bill also would extend subsidies from the American Rescue Plan that help people afford health care. Without the extension, Wright said he predicts the average Covered California enrollee would see an 82% increase in premiums - a jump of about $1,000 per year.

Bianca Blomquist - California policy director and Northern California outreach director for Small Business Majority - said more than half of people enrolled in ACA-subsidized health plans work for or own a small business, or are self-employed.

"The provisions in this package are crucial for the equitable recovery of small businesses in California," said Blomquist. "And we urge Congress to advance a vote on this legislation quickly."

The American Rescue Plan capped CoveredCA premiums at 8.5% of income. That is set to expire at the end of the year unless the Inflation Reduction Act becomes law.




Disclosure: Health Access contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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