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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Michiganders Hail Enactment of Inflation Reduction Act, Applaud Senator Peters’ Leadership

Historic Legislation Will Lower Costs Including for Prescription Drugs and Health Care, Tackle Climate Change and Fight Inflation “We thank Senator Peters for his support for these historic reforms and herald the turning of the tide.” – AARP Michigan

DETROIT, MI Officials and leaders representing key organizations and stakeholders across Michigan are hailing benefits of the historic Inflation Reduction Act and applauding U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) for helping pass this much-needed legislation, which President Biden signed into law today.

This landmark law will lower costs for families and address some of the most pressing issues for Michigan families, our state and country. It will lower health care costs and prescription drug prices, by allowing Medicare to negotiate certain costs for medicines, capping annual prescription drug costs for seniors at $2,000 and ensuring patients on Medicare pay a maximum of $35 per month for insulin. It makes the most significant investment ever in combating climate change, while lowering energy costs, increasing clean energy production and reducing carbon emissions by approximately 40 percent by 2030. It will also boost domestic manufacturing and provide consumer tax credits to encourage families to make their home more energy efficient and run on clean energy. This law will fight inflation and reduce the deficit, while making the ultra-wealthy and wealthy corporations pay their fair share—and it includes no new taxes for small businesses or for families making $400,000 or less.

Below are statements in support of Peters’ leadership to help enact the Inflation Reduction Act

“After years of discussion and negotiation, Congress has finally helped deliver real prescription drug price relief for millions of older Americans and we can't overstate what a monumental improvement this will be for all people struggling to afford their medications,” said AARP Michigan State Director Paula D. Cunningham. “From 2012 to 2017, the average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8%, while annual incomes in Michigan increased only 10.9% during that period. AARP has long fought for the much-needed relief this Act delivers. With its passage, we celebrate its mighty reach by finally allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs, capping co-pays for insulin to no more than $35 per month and out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 annually for seniors in Medicare Part D, and by holding drug companies accountable when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation. Today, we thank Senator Peters for his support for these historic reforms and herald the turning of the tide.”

“After decades of fighting for the health and safety of our planet, we are deeply grateful to our Democratic environmental champions in the Senate for passing the largest investment ever in climate, environmental justice, clean energy, and jobs. Senator Peters has long been pushing for strong action to meet the urgency of the climate crisis and this legislation will allow us to make important progress,” said Gail Philbin, Executive Director, Michigan Chapter Sierra Club. “While extremely vital, these climate investments cannot come at the expense of frontline communities most impacted by climate change. Sierra Club will continue to lift up the needs of those in disproportionately affected regions and maintain our commitment to robustly invest in these communities.” 

“Few industries have been impacted more by inflation than health care. On behalf of Michigan’s hospitals and health systems, we appreciate the thoughtful consideration and work from Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow in crafting the Inflation Reduction Act that includes extending for three years expanded subsidies to reduce Health Insurance Marketplace premiums and capping prices for insulin for Medicare beneficiaries,” said Brian Peters, CEO, Michigan Health & Hospital Association. “These actions advance the health of individuals and communities by reducing the financial burden on patients and improving access to care for many Michiganders, particularly Medicaid patients with diabetes, many of whom rely on fixed incomes.”

“Older and retired Americans, who take the most medications to stay healthy and often live on fixed incomes have borne the brunt of high prescription drug prices,” said Dick Long, President of the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans. “Along with Senator Peters, we have been pushing for strong congressional action to lower prescription drug and health care costs. The Inflation Reduction Act will finally provide relief to seniors, including Michigan retirees. We thank Senator Peters for helping pass the Inflation Act, which is a game-changer because it will save lives and result in big cost savings for seniors. We applaud the critical measures that allow Medicare the power to negotiate the prices of drugs and cap annual out-of-pocket drug costs as well and ensure seniors on Medicare pay no more than $35 per month for insulin.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act will provide much-needed relief for working folks across Michigan, and we commend Senator Peters for working to ensure a historic investment in American manufacturing,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “The IRA will invest billions of dollars in American manufacturing, creating thousands of good-paying jobs and expanding apprenticeship opportunities. Further, the IRA ensures our solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles are made in America by American workers, and Michigan’s union members are ready to get the job done.”

“Construction workers, including union workers, are poised to be big winners as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act that Senator Peters helped pass, said Pat Devlin, Secretary-Treasurer, Michigan Building Trades. “This is a historic victory for building trades working families because this legislation includes strong labor protections in the tax credits for the clean energy infrastructure projects. From solar, to wind, EV charging stations to battery storage plants and the installation of energy efficient technology in commercial buildings, this bill will mean even more good-paying jobs and opportunities for building trades workers.”

“Focusing on a cleaner energy future will benefit local economies across the nation – especially here in the Great Lakes where we have over twenty percent of the world’s surface freshwater,” said Bob Sutherland, President of Cherry Republic and Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Business Network. “We thank Senator Peters for his longtime commitment to addressing climate change in a way that creates economic opportunity and helping deliver the significant investments the Inflation Reduction Act will make. This is an important step forward to address the climate crisis that will benefit our economy and businesses by accelerating the transition to renewable and clean energy.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act is a needed step forward in building the clean energy economy of the future and we applaud Senator Peters for helping to make sure this Congress finally takes serious action on climate change,” said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “The bill is both historic and a very important first step in taking critical action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and pollution here in Michigan. As we implement this bill, we must direct benefits to communities that have historically borne the brunt of pollution’s costs, continue to fight against false solutions, and prevent new fossil fuel projects from moving forward.”

“The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is a big deal for anyone and everyone, including low-income families,” said Chong-Anna Canfora, Executive Director Michigan Community Action. “It includes historic investments and savings for seniors, families, and the planet. We commend Senator Peters on working to reduce household energy costs and helping working families afford more efficient appliances, electric vehicles, and weatherize their homes to make them safer and reduce their carbon footprint, and helping to reduce prescription drug prices that push families into making choices between life-saving health care and keeping their families housed and fed.”

“Our more than 33,000 members in Michigan are grateful to Senator Peters for seizing an opportunity to invest in making our climate safer for our children and future generations,” said Elizabeth Hauptman, Michigan State Coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. “The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—the most ambitious effort to cut climate pollution and address environmental justice that the US has ever seen—will make clean energy, transportation, and health care more affordable for families. This landmark legislation puts the US on a path to 40% reduction in emissions by 2030, helping to ensure a healthier future for our children.” 

“The U.S., and particularly Michigan, remain at the forefront of automobility, innovation, and production,” said Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director of MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As our automotive and mobility industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and instability caused by geopolitical events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its important that we now have new federal incentives that will promote domestic manufacturing. This is critical for supporting and creating automotive manufacturing jobs, accelerating U.S. production of EV batteries and raw mineral production, strengthening supply chains, and expanding economic opportunities. These are issues that Sen. Peters has long championed, and we applaud his efforts to create these provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act that will help address challenges we face now and position us for the future.” 

“Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action (MiCCA) is grateful to Senator Peters for his leadership in helping to pass the most robust climate provisions to date in the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Elizabeth (Lisa) Del Buono, MD, Founder and Executive Director, Michigan Clinicians for Climate Act. “As clinicians we recognize climate change as a public health emergency. By lowering emissions and improving air quality, the Inflation Reduction Act will save lives, improve productivity in the workplace and improve public health and save health care dollars. The greatest benefits will be realized in communities closest to heavy traffic and polluting industries. Also, by expanding access to affordable health coverage and making prescription drugs more affordable, this legislation will help us to deliver necessary health care while avoiding medical interventions that are unnecessary, complex, and costly. Prevention is the best medicine!”

“The Inflation Reduction Act will ensure our clean energy future is Made in America and achieves true energy independence, while lowering costs, creating good jobs, and reducing pollution in every community across the nation,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We thank Senator Peters for his leadership and look forward to working with Congress and the Biden Administration to ensure that all communities, especially frontline communities, equitably enjoy the full benefits of the historic investments that the IRA is poised to deliver.”

“The National Council of Gray Panthers Network is an intergenerational social justice organization that has been working for justice for many years for reforms that were made possible when Senators recently voted to adopt the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Randy Block, Chair, National Council of Gray Panthers Networks. “We've been advocating to make insulin more affordable and to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. We've been advocating for strong measures to curb global warming. We have demanded wealthy Americans and wealthy corporations pay their fair share of taxes. We thank Senator Peters along with all of the Members of Congress who made these necessary reforms possible!”  

“For some of our patients, the sky-high cost of often lifesaving prescriptions drugs means choosing between purchasing medication or paying for food, rent or utilities. This is not a choice anyone should be forced to make,” said Bob Riney, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health. “At Henry Ford Health, we do everything we can to help our Medicare patients afford their care, but more needs to be done at a national level. We are deeply grateful for Senator Peters’ efforts to help make affording prescription drugs attainable through the Inflation Reduction Act.”

“The Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) welcomes the relief and cost reduction on prescription drug costs for seniors made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act and Senator Peters’ support for this much-needed legislation,” said Ronald Taylor, President and CEO of Detroit Area Agency on Aging. “Older adults have been impacted like no other demographic even as the pandemic begins to wane. Additionally, the benefits of free Medicare vaccine coverage will help against the rising economic pressures and insecurities amongst older adults facing financial challenges. Michigan’s rapidly aging population deserves our full attention.”

“We at Friends of the Rouge are thrilled to see this landmark climate investment included in the Inflation Reduction Act. These investments in clean energy will help us to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and protect the long-term health of the environment we call home. As advocates for enhancing, monitoring, and conserving the ecological well-being of our watershed, we know just how vital this legislation will be to improving water quality and overall public health in Michigan,” said Marie McCormick, Executive Director of Friends of the Rouge. “We are especially grateful to Senator Peters, who has been a longtime leader on climate issues in the Great Lakes Basin. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure a clean and vibrant Rouge River.”

“For years our retirees’ club has been calling on congress to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” said Tony Pascarella, President, USW Local 2659 Retirees’ Club. “It’s a common sense approach to a very serious problem facing American seniors. Thank you Senator Peters for leading the fight to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. Life for millions of American seniors on fixed incomes just got better.” 

We applaud Senator Peters for making health care more affordable, accessible and equitable by extending premium tax credits by voting for the Inflation Reduction Act, allowing more Michigan residents the opportunity for low- or no-cost coverage,” said Praveen Thadani, President of Priority Health. “With enhanced subsidies, Michigan consumers previously saw an average premium reduction of 45%. As a result, we saw a near 14% increase in the number of residents who now have access to affordable coverage and quality health care.”

“Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues thanks Senator Peters for helping pass important provisions for Medicare recipients to have a cap on insulin and negotiating drug prices,” said Judy Sivak, President, Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues

“The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan senior advocates and national partners have been working tirelessly for a prescription benefit with a maximum out of pocket limit in Medicare,” said Jackie O’Connor, Executive Director, Area Agency on Aging of West Michigan. “Following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and its $2,000 annual out-of- pocket maximum cost for Medicare prescription coverage, our volunteer prescription counselors can rejoice. We are grateful for Senator Peters’ support in making this a reality. It is one of those ‘pinch myself, is this really happening’ type of moments. The time was finally right and it got done, a substantive policy change with a significant financial protection for seniors and those with disabilities. Our days of having to tell a senior that their life sustaining medication will cost them $10,000 are over.”

“I congratulate Senator Peters and his colleagues in the Senate on this win for working families, for our economy, and for our climate,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “These efforts will improve the everyday lives of citizens in Flint and around the country. Along with my fellow residents in the City of Flint, I welcome the much-needed relief this legislation will bring.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is a major step toward creating a sustainable and resilient clean energy economy, and HSC applauds Congress for passing this critical piece of legislation,” said Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) Chairman and CEO AB Ghosh. “This is our moment to build a cleaner, more secure domestic solar supply chain in an industry where new capacity is required. Provisions in this bill will boost the domestic solar supply chain by incentivizing manufacturers like HSC to invest to meet growing U.S. solar demand. Supply chains matter as we speed the energy transition. We see a future where U.S. made polysilicon enables the 21st-century clean energy economy, and the Inflation Reduction Act brings that future closer to reality. We look forward to the progress ahead and extend special thanks to congressional champions for domestic solar including Senator Stabenow, Senator Peters, Senator Ossoff and Congressman Kildee.

“This Act is a huge step in the right direction and we are thankful for Sen. Peters continued fight to ensure our seniors have affordable prescription drugs,” said Angie Miller MMALC/AFL-CIO President. “This new law will also fulfill our shared commitment to putting Americans to work in good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act will allow our aging population on Medicare to receive their prescriptions at a much lower cost then what we have seen over the last few years,” said Jim Milanowski, President and CEO of Genesee Health Plan. “Seniors often face a difficult decision on whether they can afford to buy food or pay for their prescriptions. Many will try to stretch out their medications so they do not have to fill so often. This legislation will lower costs for seniors. Genesee Health Plan also provides enrollment into HealthCare.Gov/Affordable Care Act and this piece of legislation will also help make plans more affordable and attainable for individuals seeking health coverage that have often not purchased coverage due to cost. On behalf of Genesee Health Plan, we thank Senator Peters for his leadership to lower prescription drug and health care costs for Michiganders.”

“This legislation is the most transformational investment America has ever made in our climate future, and we are thankful to Senator Peters, the clean energy community and every one of our solar champions in Congress for their work to get us to this historic moment,” said Eric Eggleston, CEO of YouthDevelopment Corporation, USA in Saginaw. “The solar industry has set a goal to account for 30% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030, and this legislation will be a catalyst for reaching that target. Now the work can begin to build out America’s clean energy economy with historic deployment, domestic manufacturing, investments in low-income communities, energy storage, smoother interconnection and so much more, including the work we’re doing here in Saginaw.”

“Access to health care is one of the paramount issues of our time, and Sparrow applauds this legislation because it will help millions of Americans receive the care they need,” said James F. Dover, President and CEO of Sparrow Health System in Lansing. “We are encouraged by the extension of expanded tax credits for the Affordable Care Act and by the steps taken to lower prescription drug prices for Medicare patients. These are critical in helping health systems like Sparrow provide leading-edge medicine to all who need it, and we are grateful for Senator Peters’ support to pass this much-needed legislation.”

“As the largest provider of rural healthcare in Michigan, Munson Healthcare was pleased to see passage of key healthcare provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Ed Ness, President and CEO of Munson Healthcare. “Specifically, we are pleased that the bill extends expanded tax credits for the Affordable Care Act that were set to expire at the end of this year and that Congress has taken steps to lower prescription drug prices for Medicare patients. These actions will help to ensure continued access to affordable healthcare and important medications for the patients we serve, and we thank Senator Peters for helping to pass this important legislation.”

“This legislation comes just in the nick of time to help us combat climate change,” said Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director, FLOW (For Love of Water). “While far from perfect in reducing the nation’s long-standing environmental justice and health disparities, it will create jobs in environmentally sustainable industries and enable households to conserve energy and save money. Michiganders will see real benefits. We are grateful to Senator Peters for all his work to defend our Great Lakes and leadership to address the climate crisis.” 

“On behalf of the Marquette Citizens Climate Lobby we are excited that Senator Peters helped pass the most significant investment ever in addressing climate change,” said Kristen Carlson, Group Leader, Marquette Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. “The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge step because it will allow us to reduce emissions, build a clean energy economy and lower energy and utility costs for Michiganders. It’s difficult to overstate how positive this legislation is for Michiganders, and we are thrilled it will take effective and actionable steps to confront the climate crisis. Our work will not end here, and we will look forward to building on these critical climate policies.”