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House Passes Major Legislation to Invest in Families, Climate, and Health Care

November 18, 2021
Press Release
The bill includes career-long Welch priorities - RX drug reform and clean energy investments.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch voted today to pass the Build Back Better Act, a major piece of legislation that would support our families, lower health care costs, and make the largest investment to address climate change in our country’s history. The bill contains several of Rep. Welch’s career-long priorities, including reducing the cost of prescription drugs through Medicare negotiation, expanding access to childcare, and investing in clean energy.

“This is a major moment for our country – we are finally committing significant resources to care for our families, lower health care costs, and address the climate crisis,” said Rep. Welch. “Build Back Better invests in working families, our children, seniors, and our communities and is paid for by making sure the ultra-rich and big corporations pay their fair share. Whether you voted for Donald Trump or for President Biden, all Vermonters will benefit from access to affordable childcare, lower health care costs, and a healthy and safe planet. The bill also finally breaks the iron grip Big Pharma has on drug prices by allowing the government to negotiate for lower prices. Our communities will be stronger and better with the passage of this bill.”

Build Back Better makes significant investments in children and caregiving, health care affordability and access, and fighting climate change.

Health Care Affordability

  • Caps the price of Insulin at $35 per month, per patient.
  • Makes significant prescription drug reforms, including allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs with pharmaceutical companies, saving consumers and the federal government nearly $300 billion over the next ten years. This is a career-long priority of Rep. Welch.
  • Caps the amount of money seniors pay for prescription drugs in the Medicare program at $2,000 annually.
  • Dramatically reduces premium costs in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace; expands ACA to make coverage more affordable for those who buy insurance on their own; and expands the ACA to cover those in states that have refused to expand Medicaid.
  • Provides affordable hearing coverage for older Americans by expanding Medicare.

Fighting Climate Change

  • Cuts 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions and puts us on a path to achieve up to 52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
  • Creates and extends $320 billion in clean energy, energy efficiency, and point of sale electric vehicle tax credits based on Rep. Welch’s Electric Cars Act.
  • Provides $12.5 billion for Rep. Welch’s Hope for Homes Act, a home energy efficiency retrofit rebate program and an electric appliance rebate program.
  • Creates the Civilian Climate Corps to put people to work in climate change mitigation and the clean energy economy.
  • Invests over $20 billion in conservation and soil quality incentives for our nation’s farmers.
  • Provides $300 million in incentives for state and local governments to adopt strong building energy codes.
  • Invests $2 billion for EV charging infrastructure.
  • Allocates $3.75 billion for energy efficiency and clean energy investments in federal buildings.

Children and Families

  • Creates a program for two years of free preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old, providing almost 7,000 additional kids in Vermont with access to free, high-quality pre-k.
  • Extends the Child Tax Credit for 35 million American families, which means $300 per month for children under 6 and $250 per month for children aged 6 to17.
  • Invests $150 billion to expand access to quality home-based services for seniors and those with disabilities.
  • Provides four weeks of medical and family leave for every American.
  • Enables Vermont to provide childcare for more than 31,000 young children per year from families earning under 2.5 times the Vermont median income and caps the cost of childcare for these families at no more than 7% of their income.
  • $10 billion investment in child nutrition to expand access to free school meals to an additional 9,000 Vermont students during the school year and provides 34,000 students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
  • Expands the Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure students and library patrons have access to the internet at home.
  • $20 billion investment to strengthen higher education, including increasing the value of Pell grants and helping to address the teacher shortage.
  • $150 billion investment in affordable housing efforts.

The bill is expected to be considered in the Senate in the coming weeks.

For more information on Build Back Better, please click here. For more information on the impacts of Build Back Better in Vermont, please click here.