$35 Insulin Caps for Medicare Patients Is Not Enough

Originally published by Prism. The sky-high cost of insulin is causing adults in the U.S. with diabetes to ration their medication. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with Type 1 diabetes need about two-to-three vials per month, which could total up to $1,000 or more. For those working to make ends meet, paying up to $300 a vial is near impossible, pushing people to either take less insulin than normal or skip a dosage entirely — putting their lives at risk. Though President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which caps the monthly cost of insulin…

Biden Promised “Good-Paying Union Jobs,” But It Will Take Organizing to Get Them

Since the historic and controversial Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law in August, the economy has begun showing early signs of shifting and recalibrating beneath our feet. Honda Motor Company and LG Energy Solution have announced plans for a lithium ion battery plant, with their sights on Ohio; hiring has ticked up at a small business in Texas that builds wind and solar power plants; and the state of Connecticut is soliciting applications for millions in funding for community-led climate adaptation plans in anticipation of IRA funds to come, plus funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law signed last…

Biden’s Rating Hits Highest Point in Months After Student Debt Plan Announcement

President Joe Biden’s job approval hit its highest point in months in the days immediately following the announcement that his administration is fulfilling a campaign promise to cancel student debt, new polling shows. CBS/YouGov polling released on Sunday shows that Biden’s job rating among registered voters is now at 45 percent, up from 42 percent in July. Overall, 20 percent of respondents said they “strongly approve” of Biden’s performance, while 25 percent said they “somewhat approve.” The poll was taken between August 24 and 26. Biden announced the plan midday on the 24th, meaning that some respondents may have answered…

The Inflation Reduction Act Is a Disappointing Act of Federal Greenwashing

Congressional Democrats were very proud of themselves for passing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a bill that includes $370 billion for climate and energy initiatives, in addition to much-needed subsidies on prescription drug costs and Medicare benefits. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who worked with the intractable Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said the bill “will put the country on track to meet the climate goals we need to preserve for our planet for our children and for our grandchildren.” It’s tempting to believe him: Many environmental advocates are reporting that the IRA, while imperfect, is…

Throwing People Out of Work Is No Way to “Fix” the Economy

From groceries to rent, prices are rising on just about everything these days — and those with already-stretched budgets are feeling the pinch. Bringing prices down must be a top priority for lawmakers, but Washington’s default tool for dealing with inflation — aggressive interest rate hikes — only makes life harder for these families. That’s because aggressive interest rate hikes work by increasing unemployment and slowing down wage growth, a “cure” far worse than the disease. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is a longtime advocate of this cruel approach. Earlier this summer, Summers cheered the idea of throwing millions out…

Mainstream Press’s Initial Coverage of Climate Bill Was a Lazy Distortion

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson once compared the behavior of much of the national press corps to a wheeling flock of birds. Each bird follows the other birds in search of The Story, until they all move generally in the same direction. Though it tends to have a deleteriously narrowing effect on how people understand the world, the phenomenon is rarely nefarious. It’s just lazy, and more than a little chickenshit (speaking of birds): No one wants to get too far out front, no one wants to fall too far back, so everyone reports essentially the same thing,…

650+ Progressive Groups Vow to Fight Manchin Deal “With Everything We’ve Got”

A broad coalition of more than 650 climate and progressive advocacy groups Wednesday called on congressional Democratic leaders to reject Sen. Joe Manchin’s “alarming” demands for U.S. fossil fuel projects contained in a “dirty” side deal that the West Virginia Democrat secretly negotiated to gain his support for his own party’s historic but watered-down package on climate, taxes, and drug price reforms. “We are writing to express our strenuous opposition to any additional fossil fuel giveaways,” states the coalition’s letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), noting that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)…

Sinema Met With Her Many Private Equity Friends Ahead of IRA Vote

Last week, Democrats in the Senate and House managed to pass the Inflation Reduction Act — a significant tax, climate, and health care package — but only after appeasing one senator from Arizona by allowing an ongoing tax loophole for investment executives. For years, lawmakers have attempted to close the carried interest loophole, an income tax arrangement that favors investment managers at private equity, hedge fund, and venture capital firms by allowing them to pay lower taxes — at a rate based on capital gains as opposed to their actual income from labor. Once Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)…

Activists Stress Need for Much More Climate Action After IRA Passes in the House

While welcoming U.S. House lawmakers’ passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, climate campaigners and some progressive lawmakers said the $740 billion bill does not do nearly enough to address the worsening climate emergency. “Today, we celebrate the power of organizing,” Varshini Prakash, executive director of the youth-led Sunrise Movement, said after House lawmakers voted 220-207 along party lines to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The historic bill — which was passed in the Senate earlier this week and which President Joe Biden says he will sign into law next week — includes major investments in renewable energy…

Pharma Claims Drug Price Reform Hurts Innovation. Experts Say That’s “Bullshit.”

For decades, the drug industry has yelled bloody murder each time Congress considered a regulatory measure that threatened its profits. But the hyperbole reached a new pitch in recent weeks as the Senate moved to adopt modest drug pricing negotiation measures in the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill “could propel us light-years back into the dark ages of biomedical research,” Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, said last month. Venture capitalists and other opponents of the bill said that it “immediately will halt private funding of drug discovery and development.” Steve Ubl, leader of the ubiquitous Pharmaceutical…

Schumer Pledges to Bring $35 Insulin Cap to Another Vote to Bring “Heat” to GOP

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said on Monday that the Senate will get a second chance to pass a plan to cap insulin prices at $35 for people with non-Medicare health insurance after Republicans voted to block the provision from being included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). “[Republicans] blocked a $35 price for insulin for non-Medicare people,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, after noting that Republicans are “intransigent.” “We’re going to come back and make them vote on that again,” he went on. “When they get taken over by the extremes — whether on issues of democracy…

Schumer: Inflation Reduction Act Has Votes to Pass After Concessions to Sinema

Conservative Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) announced on Thursday that she will support the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) after Democratic leaders agreed to take out proposals to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy in order to fund the bill. Sinema said in a statement that, after the Senate parliamentarian reviews the budget package, she will “move forward” with the bill. With Sinema’s support, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says that the Senate now has all 50 Democrats on board to pass the bill via a simple majority vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris’s vote being the 51st.…