The piece of sweeping legislation received no bipartisan support and was largely condemned by Republicans. The $750,000,000 climate, tax and health care bill hits on key agenda items President Joe Biden campaigned on.
Some of the highlights of the bill include billions of dollars for clean energy initiatives, a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and giving Medicare the ability to negotiate prices on certain prescription drugs. The bill passed along party lines with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie in the Senate.
In an opinion written in the Daily Journal, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) defended his vote and joined the chorus of Republicans condemning the bill. Wicker called the bill “the opposite of what working Americans need.”
Wicker cited potential damage to small businesses saying, “small businesses that file as individuals will now have to shoulder an additional 50 billion dollar tax burden.”
Wicker also cited fears around socialized medicine and neglecting “urgent priorities” such as southern border protections and abortion law as more pressing issues.
For Democrats in the state, the signing of this bill gives them a much needed boost before midterms.
“Democrats got something done that’s going to have a direct impact on everyday voters, and they can run on that its gonna be helpful,” said State Rep. Robert Johnson (D-District 94). “This is what you’re going to get. You’re gonna get $800 in savings. You’re going to get a $35 insulin. You’re going to have a cap on what they charge you on your Medicare rates. We’re going to stop watching middle class America get gouged. We’re going to do something about it. This is just the beginning.”
While most of the bill’s impacts will not be felt right away, Johnson is hopeful that Mississippians will feel some relief in healthcare.
“I think we’ll see immediate gains in savings on healthcare. The fact that it will lower the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare and Medicaid recipients by some 30%, by putting a cap on what pharmaceutical companies can charge, that’s a big deal. That makes a lot of difference,” said Johnson.
Only time will tell if this bill is the success that Democrats are hoping for.