Saturday, August 20, 2022

Biden's Blunders

 On August 16, Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law. Some progressives have been complaining that Manchin watered the bill down and that Sinema watered it down even more.

Asset manager Steven Rattner, who served as counselor to the secretary of the treasury under President Barack Obama argues that it essentially leaves the United States’ super-rich unscathed.

The Inflation Reduction Act, Rattner notes, contains “no increase in the egregiously low corporate income tax rate, no reversal in overly generous deductions for businesses” and “no rise in income tax or capital gains rates paid by the wealthy.”

“Wealthy individuals escaped essentially unaffected by the new legislation,” Rattner observes. “Ms. Sinema even objected to closing the indefensible carried interest loophole, through which many private equity executives and some hedge fund managers pay only a 23.8 percent tax rate on gains achieved on their share of investors’ capital…. On the expenditure side of the ledger, we lost the chance to enact many other worthy initiatives, like continuation of the expanded child tax credit; tuition-free community college; parental leave and an augmented earned-income tax credit.”

 Rattner laments. “It was a missed opportunity of extraordinary scale.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to meet with representatives from drug manufacturers, pharmacies, and state health departments on August 30 to "map out" how to shift the bill for coronavirus jabs and therapeutics from the federal government to individuals, according to The Wall Street Journal. It reported, "Switching vaccine purchasing to the commercial market would mean that each insurer and pharmacy benefit manager would be negotiating with drug manufacturers and prices would likely be higher than what the federal government has paid, said Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Insurers would have to start paying for the vaccines, he said, likely raising premiums."

"We've known at some point we'd need to move over into the commercial market, and we're approaching that time now," said Dawn O'Connell, assistant secretary at HHS for preparedness and response. 

Tahir Amin, an intellectual property lawyer and co-executive director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK), described the Biden administration's plan as a "recipe for disaster, unless you are a pharmaceutical company or other profit center in the healthcare market."

How one senator ensured the wealthy would be 'essentially unaffected' by spending bill: ex-treasury adviser -

'Terrible Idea': Biden Preparing to Shift Costs of Covid Treatments, Vaccines to Patients (

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