CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, August 5, 2022


August 5, 2022

COVID-19 HardshipAugust 5, 2022 

The reconciliation edition. The Senate is finally poised to enact legislation to address some urgent problems. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is estimated to reduce disastrous carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and its support for the transition to renewable energy sources will save the average family $500/year. The bill will prevent millions of people from drastic increases in their health insurance and will stop 3 million from becoming uninsured. At long last, Medicare will be able to negotiate to lower drug prices, and Medicare recipients’ drug costs will be capped, with prescription and health insurance savings expected well beyond Medicare.  

Multi-billion-dollar corporations will start to pay more of their fair share of taxes.  A watered-down 15 percent corporate minimum tax, funding to help the IRS enforce our tax laws so the richest do not evade taxes, and a proposal to tax corporate stock buybacks would likely raise revenues by over $470 billion. Adding in savings from prescription drug pricing reform, new revenues would approach roughly $760 billion. 

Our nation needs this legislation. It glaringly, painfully leaves out badly needed help for people/families with low incomes – the expanded Child Tax Credit, child care, home/direct care for seniors and people with disabilities, housing assistance, paid leave. All of these await action. Even now, it is still within the Senate’s grasp to add critically needed help: they could amend the bill to provide health insurance to more than 2 million poor uninsured people, now denied Medicaid in a dozen states. They could add child care funding, and funds to reduce the hugely disproportionate maternal mortality rates among Black women. But the help already in this bill is essential. Some examples of help for low- and moderate-income people are below.  Week after week in COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, we’ve seen disproportionate harm to low-income communities and communities of color. They need the affordable health insurance this bill will provide. They also are more likely to be exposed to pollution from toxic dumps, power plants, and diesel fumes in their neighborhoods. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 addresses this through investments in clean air, clean transportation, and the cleanup of toxic pollution, with billions of dollars targeted to low-income communities.  

Tell the Senate to vote for this, to add funds to help those most in need, to reject harmful anti-immigrant amendments and to reject amendments that ladle out more tax breaks for powerful corporations or the wealthy. Click here – the Senate will be voting this weekend. 



The number of Americans without health insurance reached an all-time low of 8 percent this year, the Biden Administration announced this week. The drop was due in part to the American Rescue Plan, the landmark 2021 legislation that increased subsidies for people buying health insurance through the ACA marketplace. Those subsidies will expire if Congress does not extend them through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Tweet this.



The provision included in the Inflation Reduction Act to extend enhanced ACA marketplace subsidies would save the average marketplace enrollee about $700 a year on premiums. Tweet this. 

3 million 

If the ACA subsidies are not renewed this year, 3 million people will be unable to afford coverage and will join the ranks of the uninsured. That would include a 17 percent increase in uninsured Americans between 138 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line. (For individuals, that’s income between about $18,750 – $54,000.) Tweet this.


$531 to $1,860 

If the ACA subsidies are not extended, an average 60-year-old couple earning $75,000 a year (430 percent of poverty level) would see monthly marketplace premiums more than triple, rising from $531 to $1,860. That’s an increase of roughly $16,000 a year. Tweet this.



Clean energy tax credits will enable the average American family to save $500 a year in household energy costs. Tweet this.



Dangerous levels of air pollution are 13.7 percent higher for Blacks than Whites, as measured in zip code areas. Areas where 85 percent of the population is Black have higher levels of pollution, and pollution levels are also higher in Latino and Asian communities. High air pollution is associated with a greater incidence of respiratory, cardiovascular, central nervous system and other diseases, which disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income communities.


$60 billion 


The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes $60 billion in environmental justice provisions. These include a $27 billion Clean Energy Fund to accelerate the development of low-carbon energies, with a substantial amount of this money required to be spent in disadvantaged communities. The legislation also would provide $3 billion in Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants to reduce pollution and climate threats in low-income communities and communities of color.


1 million/$1,000 

The cap on prescription drugs included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would save roughly one million seniors $1,000 a year on average.


100-125/ <5% 

According to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, between 100-125 corporations with incomes averaging close to $9 billion are now paying less than 5% in corporate income taxes.


15%/$270 billion 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would impose a 15 percent tax on the approximately 200 largest corporations that currently pay less than 15 percent. The latest version of the proposed tax would raise more than $270 billion over 10 years.