Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn
On Sunday August 7th, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act along party lines with Vice President Harris casting the tie breaking vote. Not a single Republican senator voted for the bill, which extends critical health insurance subsidies for people buying insurance through Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. The measure has broad public support, with two out three voters saying they support extending the subsidies according to a July poll from Morning Consult. When asked if it was important to extend ACA subsidies, 71 percent of voters said yes, including 55 percent of Republican voters.
Affordable Care Act subsidies reduce insurance costs for 13 million Americans, which includes people earning less than $51,521 per year. They were expanded to reduce insurance premiums further and cover more people during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those expanded subsidies will end in 2022 if the Inflation Reduction Act is not passed. Governor Sisolak, along with 13 other governors, urged Congress to act on extending these subsidies originally included in the American Rescue Plan. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that just under 68,000 Nevada residents receive subsidies right now for a total savings of $337 million per year. According to Kaiser, a 60-year-old making more than $51,521 a year will pay nearly three times as much for the same insurance if the subsidies were to expire at the end of the year.
The Inflation Reduction Act is headed to President Biden’s desk after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill. The bill garnered no Republican support.