Sweeping budget package passes Senate; House on deck Friday – JP
Additionally, the bill would cap annual out-of-pocket costs for Part D patients at $2,000, and offer free vaccines to seniors in the Medicare program.
Extending more generous subsidies for insurance plans bought on the 2010 health law’s marketplaces became a priority in the weeks before a package came together, as Democrats realized that, absent action, notices of higher charges would go out just before November’s elections. They settled on a three-year extension to avoid another election-year dilemma in 2024.
Energy and climate
The centerpiece of the Democrats’ bill on climate change is a $270 billion package of tax credits to incentivize renewable electricity production, electric vehicles, energy efficiency improvements for homes and buildings, manufacturing to boost renewable energy supply chains and more.
To maximize the benefit of some incentives, clean energy projects would have to pay the going rate for similar jobs in the local area and hire apprentices from government-run programs, which Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., touted as ensuring that “clean energy jobs will be good-paying jobs.” Subsidies for building facilities and buying equipment or other technology would have to source U.S.-made steel and iron.
The credits offsetting what consumers pay for electric vehicles would have their own set of strings, tying access to whether enough key components are sourced from the U.S. or its allies, instead of China. Those Manchin-led mandates saw a flurry of pushback, with some automakers and Democrats concerned they were too strict.