Valley Journal: Tester discusses recently passed bill

MONTANA — In a press call on Sept. 22, Senator Tester explained the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act and in what way it would benefit Montanans.

“This is fiscally responsible legislation that will benefit Montanans now and into the future. By paying down our national debt across the board, we’ll provide working families with real relief and ease inflation rate pressures for the long term,” Tester stated. 

The funding for the financial benefits, he went on, will impact taxes for average Montanans, but will instead impact billion-dollar companies. This is done through the creation of a 15% corporate minimum tax rate for corporations creating at least $1 billion in income. Stock buybacks by corporations will also face a 1% excise tax. The IRS will also receive an investment of $80 billion over the next 10 years to put toward tax enforcement.

“We have a number of billion-dollar companies in this country that pay zero, nothing in taxes. That’s not really right. So this is just going to hold folks accountable and I just think it’s the right thing to do,” Tester said. 

Additionally, one of the most significant measures taken by the bill is capping the prices of certain medications, including insulin at $35. While the original draft of this bill proposed this cap be put into place for everyone, what was passed was a cap only for seniors on Medicare. Medicare recipients will have a $2000 cap on annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs starting in 2025. This is something Tester stated he is working to expand upon. 

The subsidies of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that lower medical insurance premiums were also given an extension with this bill. Instead of expiring at the end of this year, the subsidies will remain in place through 2025.

Finally, the bill will also invest in climate protection, including tax credits for families to offset energy costs and investments in clean energy production.

Although supporters of the bill, including Senator Tester, have stated the bill will improve inflation rates, some studies have shown it is unlikely to have an impact on inflation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which provides budget and economic information to Congress, estimates that the bill will have a “negligible effect on inflation” in 2022 and 2023. However, they also estimate the bill will decrease the federal deficit by over $100 billion over the next decade. 

“This is the greatest country on earth because everybody’s worked together to make it that way,” Tester stated. “We all have to pay our fair share, not too much but not too little either. (This bill is) how it’s going to do it.” 

Valley Journal: Tester discusses recently passed bill