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The significance of the Inflation Reduction Act

Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe ManchinPhotographers: Eric Lee, Al Drag

Pass it and make Medicare Part D prescription drugs more affordable

I appreciated Tony Romm’s article “Manchin reaches a deal on spending,” (Page A1, July 28).

Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries who are taking some of the most expensive, life changing prescription drugs topped out at $7,050 per year for 2022. This cost will reset to $7,400 per year for 2023. Some patients skip or alter doses, delay treatment, or stop taking their medication altogether due to cost.

Staying on a consistent treatment plan is imperative for patients with chronic illnesses. Taking treatments as prescribed, which is far less costly, can reduce the chances of hospitalization and serious outcomes.


The US Senate must act by passing the Inflation Reduction Act which would:

  • Implement a $2,000 per year out-of-pocket cap on Medicare Part D drug costs and create a “smoothing mechanism” which spreads costs throughout the year.
  • Allow the government to negotiate drug prices for those on Medicare.

This would allow many Medicare beneficiaries to access the medications that they need to live their best lives.

Helen Zazulak

Natick, Massachusetts

Pass it and make the climate crisis more manageable

When the history of America’s confrontation with the climate crisis is written years from now, the agreement reached by Senators Charles Schumer and Joe Manchin will be recorded as a victory for those who believed a transformation of the nation’s energy system was both necessary and doable.

For decades, the gulf between the opposing sides of the climate issue has never narrowed. Defenders of oil and gas have moved away from outright denial of climate change, pivoting to talking points that denigrate renewable energy and question the viability of decarbonization strategies. Their vision of a “net-zero carbon” economy relies on unproven technologies that would leave Big Oil largely intact and profitable.

The Manchin-Schumer deal points to a different future, one that is chiefly powered by non-carbon sources, that electrifies transportation and heating, and creates jobs and clean air for people who have borne the brunt of the fossil fuel era’s downsides.

In the epic tug-of-war between the prolongation of fossil fuel hegemony and a just transition to a greener world, the latter may have finally gained significant ground.


Frederick Hewett