Press Release: President Biden Signing the Inflation Reduction Act

 

Statement on President Biden Signing the Inflation Reduction Act from Dr. Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, Director of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health

The following statement is being released by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, the coalition of 42 national medical societies representing more than seventy percent of all U.S. doctors. This statement can be attributed to Dr. Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Executive Director of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health.

The signing of the Inflation Reduction Act is a long-awaited, hard-fought, and historic legislative victory. Its $369 billion investment in climate and energy programs will transform the U.S. response to the climate crisis and accelerate the clean energy transition. It has the potential to bring substantial benefits to the health of the U.S. population across the country, preventing nearly 4,000 deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks every year by 2030. 

This milestone achievement is a result of the perseverance of legislators, the continued demand by advocates, the rising concern of the public, and the leadership of Administration policymakers to ensure progress this year on the existential crisis of climate change. 

The bill creates the financial scaffolding and investments to accelerate the building of a clean energy economy and provides support so people can become clean energy consumers. This will also directly benefit the health of everyone in the U.S. population because it means cleaner air and water and progress toward addressing climate change, which is the greatest health emergency we face.

This bill also has provisions that have the potential to harm those who have already been made most vulnerable to climate change, especially people with lower incomes, Indigenous or Native Americans, people of color, or those living in rural areas. The health community has a stronger imperative now than ever to help prevent increases in fossil fuel production, and we believe we can do this through preventive action from the Administration, legal challenges, and continued activism. The Consortium is committed to working with partners to ensure that this law and the Infrastructure Act are implemented with health equity at the center.

Consortium health advocates know that ‘climate solutions are health solutions’ because health benefits materialize quickly when air quality improves. As implementation of the law takes effect, the transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean energy sources of electric power and transportation will mean fewer asthma cases and asthma attacks, fewer deaths, and fewer hospitalizations.