During his trip to Nevada yesterday, President Biden announced his plans to finish the work Democrats started with the Inflation Reduction Act to lower drug prices for all Americans. The president also called out MAGA Republicans, who have made it their mission to stand in the way of progress, siding with Big Pharma to raise the price of prescription drugs for millions of Americans.
Read more below.
- President Joe Biden on Wednesday said his administration was focused “intensely” on lowering health care costs and took aim at “MAGA” Republicans who he said are intent on dialing back Medicare coverage for millions of Americans.
- Biden used a speech in Las Vegas where he was wrapping a three-day Western swing to make the case there are stark differences in how Democrats are tackling skyrocketing drug prices compared to their Republican counterparts.
- Biden, speaking before a crowd of doctors and nurses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security, while touting his administration’s successful efforts to press pharmaceutical companies to lower the costs of insulin for Americans suffering from diabetes.
- “MAGA Republicans in Congress don’t think any of this is a good idea,” Biden said. “They think Big Pharma should be able to make the exorbitant profits at the expense of the American people”
- Biden has sought in recent weeks to draw a stark contrast between how his party and Republicans handle health care affordability, repeatedly raising concerns that the GOP will seek to undo the Medicare cost-savings provisions or try to make cuts to the program.
- Biden spoke about how his 2024 budget will help complete the job that his Inflation Reduction Act couldn’t: lowering health care costs for all Americans, rather than just those who use Medicare.
- Biden’s $6.8 trillion budget released last week proposes expanding the requirement for drug manufacturers to pay rebates if they raise drug prices faster than the rate of inflation. The Inflation Reduction Act instituted that requirement for drugs on the Medicare market.
- His budget also proposes capping the price of insulin at $35 per month for everyone and expanding Medicare’s negotiation authority to increase the number of drugs that are selected sooner after they launch, according to the White House.
- At the event Wednesday, Biden said there is nothing “radical” about his proposal and instead is about “basic fairness and decency.” He criticized the “MAGA Republicans’” plans for health care, such as their attempts to remove the Affordable Care Act and to roll back the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Biden recently unveiled major policy changes in Medicare infrastructure, including capping insulin prices at $35 a month starting at the beginning of the year, and authorizing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices with manufacturers. During Wednesday’s event at UNLV’s College of Hospitality, the 80-year old Democrat highlighted the Medicare changes, which stem from passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Biden said he wants to continue lowering prescription drug costs further by setting a $2,000-a-year cap by 2025 for Medicare patients who use many or very expensive drugs.
- His budget for fiscal year 2024 details how he plans to build on the reforms made through the Inflation Reduction Act. He proposes expanding Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices, requiring drug manufacturers to pay rebates for commercial drug sales and enabling the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate additional, supplemental Medicaid drug rebates on behalf of states.
- But he noted that some Republicans want to see the act repealed, along with the Affordable Care Act that passed while he was vice president under former President Barack Obama.