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NEW: Protect Our Care, NAACP Release Report on How the Inflation Reduction Act is Working to Lower Costs for Black Americans

By February 29, 2024No Comments

Read the Report Here.

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care and the NAACP are releasing a report detailing how the Inflation Reduction Act benefits Black Americans nationwide. Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, health care and prescription drugs are becoming more affordable for more people in the United States. 

According to the report, Black Americans disproportionately face adverse health outcomes such as higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more affordability challenges when it comes to getting the care and prescriptions they need. The Inflation Reduction Act is working to lower costs nationwide by lowering premiums for people who buy health insurance on their own, capping the cost of insulin, limiting out-of-pocket spending for seniors’ prescriptions, providing no-cost vaccines, and empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. These lower costs translate to better access to care as a record number of Black Americans have enrolled in low- or no-cost Affordable Care Act Marketplace plans.

States with the highest Black populations like California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Virginia benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act as six of the first ten drugs selected for negotiation treat conditions that disproportionately impact Black Americans:

  • Black Americans are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and twice as likely to die from the disease, which is treated by Januvia, Jardiance, Farxiga, and Fiasp/NovoLog. The negotiation program could lower costs for approximately 427,620 Black American enrollees taking Januvia, Jardiance, Farxiga, and Fiasp/NovoLog as of 2022.
  • Black Americans are more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with end-stage renal disease related to diabetes. Farxiga treats kidney disease and diabetes. The negotiation program could lower costs for approximately 96,000 Black American enrollees taking Farxiga as of 2022.
  • Black Americans are more likely to have activity limitations due to arthritis than their white counterparts. Enbrel treats arthritis. The negotiation program could lower costs for approximately 5,500 Black American enrollees taking Enbrel as of 2022.
  • Black American Medicare beneficiaries have nearly 2.5 times higher rates of emergency department visits for hypertension and more than twice the emergency care rates for heart failure than their white counterparts. Farxiga and Entresto treat heart failure and high blood pressure can cause blood clots, which Eliquis and Xarelto treat. The negotiation program could lower costs for approximately 191,500 Black American enrollees taking Farxiga, Eliquis, and Entresto as of 2022.

Since the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, big drug companies have spent millions of dollars lobbying and filed meritless lawsuits to block the Negotiation Program from lowering drug prices. Medicare negotiation will save seniors and taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, and it’s the most popular provision of the Inflation Reduction Act. However, every Republican voted in Congress voted against the Inflation Reduction Act and Republicans have now introduced legislation to repeal it and are fighting to protect drug company profits. Read more on Republicans’ threats to health care here

Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement: 

“The Inflation Reduction Act is making a difference, especially for families who need it most. Black Americans have faced too many barriers to accessing the care they need, leading to negative health outcomes. Our report finds that thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, millions of Black families have more breathing room to see a doctor when they get sick and get the medicines they need to stay healthy without sacrificing other basic needs like food, housing, or saving for their future. But all this progress is under attack from Republicans. While Democrats lower costs for people, Republicans are doing the bidding of big drug companies, fighting to dismantle the Inflation Reduction Act and ban Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, driving up costs for millions. We must celebrate the accomplishments of the Inflation Reduction Act, and continue to fight to ensure everyone has the health care they need, no matter who they are or where they live.”

Dr. Chris T. Pernell, Director of the Center for Health Equity at the NAACP issued the following statement:

“The fight to protect and advance the health of Black Americans is at the forefront of our mandate to improve Black lives. The Inflation Reduction Act is a necessary tool to beat back the barriers to access to care and the cost of prescription drugs especially. Assuring optimal health for all communities, particularly those who have been saddled with higher rates of chronic disease and staggering costs, is exactly where the Biden-Harris Administration should be focused. This is what equity in action looks like saving lives, preventing disease, and controlling costs.”