By Karen Stokes
This year, many Americans have felt the burden of high gas and food prices. However the burden is even heavier on the Black community.
According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, inflation reached 8.5% in March, the highest since 1981. Today, millions of Black Americans are making difficult decisions, sacrificing food, medication, and other necessities to afford rent and transportation.
“When you look at differences by race and the economy you notice a variety of things,” said Heather Boushey at the Council of Economic Advisors. “The unemployment rate is higher for the Black community than the white community and Black families have a lower household income.”
“This is certainly an issue the President has been focused on from day one,” said Boushey. “He has been prioritizing how to ensure as our economy moves forward, that it is equitable and that we see gains in employment and income.”
According to Forbes, 78% of Americans live check-to-check and Black families are disproportionately represented in that statistic.
The disparity leaves many Black Americans without the funds to help offset the rising costs and puts greater pressure on their monthly income, economists say. Some economists fear that if lawmakers don’t act soon to fight inflation, Black families may be forced to go without necessities.
There may be help on the way.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will fight inflation, reduce the deficit, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. The bill will lower health care costs by finally allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act program for three years, through 2025.
“It will make it possible for the government to negotiate on prescription drug prices, that will help lower prices for people on insulin and other drugs, this could be a game changer,” said Boushey.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, legislation is expected to pass through the Senate’s budget reconciliation process next week, according to a statement released by the U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine.