FACT SHEET: How the Inflation Reduction Act Helps Black Communities in Georgia

August 22, 2022

President Biden and Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act works to cut health care, prescription drug, and energy costs for Georgians. By extending health care coverage to more than half a million Black Americans, lowering costs, and advancing environmental justice, the Inflation Reduction Act delivers for Black communities in Georgia and across the country. 

All eight of Georgia’s congressional Republicans voted against the bill, hailed as a “good deal for Georgians,” supported by a majority of the American people, and praised by former Treasury secretaries and more than 120 leading economists. The bill’s provisions to lower energy and health care costs, allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, and reduce the deficit are paid for without raising taxes a single cent on any Georgian making less than $400,000 a year.

How the Inflation Reduction Act helps Georgia’s Black communities:

Lowering Prescription Drug Costs for Black Seniors:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act will help close the gap in access to medication by improving prescription drug coverage, lowering drug prices in Medicare, and providing access to a number of free vaccines for Medicare beneficiaries. 
  • Among adults 65 and older, Black Medicare beneficiaries are roughly 1.5 times as likely as white beneficiaries to have trouble affording medications, and about two times as likely to not fill needed prescriptions due to cost. 
  • For example, a recent study of shingles vaccination rates among older Americans showed white Americans were over two times as likely to have received the shingles vaccine than Black Americans, due in part to difficulty affording the shingles vaccine. 

Lowering Health Insurance Premiums and Expanding Coverage: 

  • The Inflation Reduction Act continues the American Rescue Plan’s tax credits for Affordable Care Act premiums, locking in lower monthly premiums for Georgians. In 2021, more than three quarters of uninsured Black Americans had access to a plan with a monthly premium of $50 or less and about two thirds could find a plan for $0-premium plan in 2021.
  • By continuing the improvements made through ARP, the Inflation Reduction Act will help keep free or low-cost health insurance available. Over half a million more Black Americans will have health insurance coverage next year, compared to without the IRA.
  • Almost 3.9 million Black people were uninsured in 2019 before President Biden took office, and over 570,000 Black people in Georgia and eleven other states fell into the Medicaid “coverage gap,” because their state refused to expand that program. Since President Biden took office, the rate of uninsured Americans has reached a new historic low of 8%, with 5.2 million Americans gaining health insurance coverage. The Inflation Reduction Act continues the American Rescue Plan’s more generous Affordable Care Act premium tax credits. 

Protecting Public Health: 

  • The Inflation Reduction Act recognizes that climate change disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. That’s why it:
    • Creates Environmental Justice Block Grants which will tackle pollution in port communities – where air pollution is often especially dense and deadly. 
    • Funds a range of programs to reduce air pollution, including for fenceline monitoring and screening near industrial facilities, air quality sensors in disadvantaged communities, new and upgraded multipollutant monitoring sites, and monitoring and mitigation of methane and wood heater emissions. 


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