Michigan Dem leaders tout climate, health initiatives in the Inflation Reduction Act’s first year

By: - August 16, 2023 4:41 pm

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, which set out to support the economy by curbing prescription drugs costs and investing in clean energy and electric vehicles, turned one year old Wednesday and Democratic leaders in Michigan joined together over Zoom to give a year-in-review.

“We are celebrating their one year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, the single largest investment in clean energy, environmental justice and climate actions in American history,” Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor) said.

New: Most Michigan voters support Inflation Reduction Act, want further climate change action

The IRA, largely outlining climate solutions, was adopted by Democrats in Congress, receiving no votes of support from Republican lawmakers, some of whom called it a “waste” and “reckless.”

Dingell and U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Waterford Twp.) joined Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist to outline widespread participation in programming under the IRA and make the case that thousands of Michiganders have already benefited from the act, which designates $750 billion into health and environmental priorities.

Gilchrist noted the IRA put a $35 cap on the monthly cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries, saying he’s witnessed people in his own family struggle to afford the insulin they need.

“So many Michiganders struggle … to afford insulin costs that have only gone up over the last several generations.And to have this Congress and this [Biden] administration focus on having those out of pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries so nobody can go bankrupt to be healthy, this makes a tremendous difference for our families, for people’s well-being, for better health outcomes for Michiganders,” Gilchrist said.

More and more Michiganders will reap the benefits of health care reducing costs outlined in the IRA, Dingell said, with an estimated 673,000 Michiganders to save an average of $360 on prescription drugs annually starting in 2025 when more caps and drug reducing policies go into effect under the IRA.

The IRA included $370 billion for incentives for companies to produce renewable energy and tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles.

Dingell said Michigan put the world on wheels and “we will secede our leadership to nobody.” To do that, Michigan has to continue investing in electric vehicle infrastructure in the state and encourage manufacturers to participate in the tax incentives in the IRA.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell | Andrew Roth

“We’re going to meet our goal of half of the new vehicles that are sold in the U.S. by 2030 [be] zero emission vehicles, and we want to build these batteries in Michigan, in our home, at good paying wages so that people are making a living and can support their families. We are building and strengthening the middle class,” Dingell said.

Almost 200,000 clean energy jobs have been created in Michigan, Stevens said, and as Michigan moves forward with electric vehicle battery manufacturing efforts, the state is going to remain a leader in manufacturing.

“I am so excited to do this press conference a year from now, because we will see more metrics, more success and continue to double down on this incredible moment that we have had with passing the Inflation Reduction Act,” Stevens said.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Anna Liz Nichols
Anna Liz Nichols

Anna Liz Nichols covers government and statewide issues, including criminal justice, environmental issues, education and domestic and sexual violence. Anna is a former state government reporter for The Associated Press and most recently was a reporter for the Detroit News. Anna is a graduate of Michigan State University.