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Politics Senate Finance Chair releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices

18:45  22 june  2021
18:45  22 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Overnight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices

  Overnight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. Walgreens is offering people who get the vaccine this week a $25 gift card or rewards on their myWalgreens account, if anyone still needs an incentive to get the jab. If you have any tips, email us at nweixel@thehill.com, psullivan@thehill.com, and jcoleman@thehill.com Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8. Today: The White House acknowledged the U.S. won't makeIf you have any tips, email us at nweixel@thehill.com, psullivan@thehill.com, and jcoleman@thehill.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday released principles for his proposal to lower prescription drug prices, saying current costs are "unacceptable."

Ron Wyden et al. standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) © Greg Nash Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Wyden has been working behind the scenes to craft a bill to lower drug prices that can get all 50 Senate Democrats on board so that a measure can pass the chamber, as Republican support is not expected.

While some of the contours were already known, the principles released on Tuesday provide the first written indication of what Senate Democrats want. Still, there are many details that are not included in the document, highlighting the work ahead to craft the specifics.

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The principles call for Medicare to be able to negotiate lower drug prices, a long-held goal for Democrats that is largely opposed by Republicans.

Importantly, Wyden also calls for the lower prices to apply to people in private insurance plans, not just in Medicare. He also calls for capping out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries at the pharmacy counter and limiting drug price increases in Medicare to the rate of inflation.

"The United States is the largest market for biopharmaceuticals, yet prices in our country for many prescription drugs are the highest in the world," Wyden wrote. "Americans often tell their elected officials they worry that being prescribed an expensive drug therapy will ruin them financially. This is unacceptable."

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The drug pricing proposal could be included in a massive legislative package also including President Biden's priorities in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Lowering drug prices also produces savings that can be used on other health care priorities, such as increased Affordable Care Act financial assistance, expanding Medicaid in states that have not done so, or adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare.

Wyden faces the task of balancing the wishes of the progressive and moderate wings of Senate Democrats. The Senate bill is expected to be less far-reaching than the House bill, in a bid to win support from moderate Senate Democrats whose support is needed.

The details of how Medicare negotiates lower drug prices will be key. For example, some moderates object to an idea from the House bill to first cap drug prices based on the prices paid in other wealthy countries.

Wyden's principles are largely silent on those details, for now.

Impatient Democrats prepare to go-it-alone on infrastructure .
WASHINGTON (AP) — Patience running thin, Democratic leaders are laying the groundwork for a go-it-alone approach on President Joe Biden's big jobs and families infrastructure plans even as the White House continues negotiating with Republicans on a much more scaled-back $1 trillion proposal. A top White House adviser assured House Democrats during a closed-door session Tuesday that there would be a fresh assessment by next week on where talks stand with the Republicans.

usr: 1
This is interesting!