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Politics House Democrat says he won't vote to advance party's drug pricing reforms

21:10  14 september  2021
21:10  14 september  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters said Tuesday that he will not vote to advance his party’s legislation to allow direct drug price negotiations between the government and pharmaceutical companies, with several other centrists expected to follow.

Scott Peters wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Provided by Washington Examiner

“I have proposed an alternative drug pricing reform model that will keep Democrats’ promise to lower out-of-pocket costs for medicines, in part by empowering the secretary of health and human services to negotiate prices,” Peters said on Tuesday.

Peters and fellow Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader from Oregon, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, drafted a narrower alternative to the more sweeping measure favored by the liberal wing of the party, known as H.R. 3, that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. GOP lawmakers have long opposed direct negotiation of drug prices, saying that doing so would stifle innovation of future cures and treatments.

Senate approval for drug pricing reforms will be uphill battle, advocates warn

  Senate approval for drug pricing reforms will be uphill battle, advocates warn Efforts to push a proposal for direct drug pricing negotiations between the government and pharmaceutical companies over the finish line will face a steep uphill battle, liberal health reform groups warn. © Provided by Washington Examiner Big Pharma is a monopoly industry, according to David Mitchell, founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW. “By definition, monopolies have unlimited power because if they need more money for campaign contributions or ads or lobbying, they can just raise prices," he said. "This is a very, very difficult uphill fight, and no one ever expected anything else.

The rival legislation from Peters and Schrader would “preserve innovation” by giving the government narrower negotiating power for drugs that have no other competitors on the market. Peters also has support from Democratic Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York, Lou Correa of California, and Stephanie Murphy of Florida.

BIDEN RELEASES PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN THAT WOULD LET GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES

While H.R. 3 would cap out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors under Medicare at $2,000, Peters's legislation would adjust the cap on out-of-pocket costs with income, ranging from $1,200 to $3,100, so that the poorest seniors enrolled in the government healthcare program would get the greatest amount of assistance.

Peters said in a statement Tuesday that he looked forward to working with his Democratic colleagues to “achieve reforms that help patients, support future innovation and grow American jobs.”

Centrists throw wrench in House Democrats’ drug pricing plans

  Centrists throw wrench in House Democrats’ drug pricing plans The standoff is threatening the entire health plank of the party's mammoth social spending proposal.House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and his senior aides are racing to shore up support for leadership-backed language that would allow direct government negotiations over the prices of hundreds of drugs, penalize manufacturers that raise prices faster than inflation and apply both policies to private insurance plans as well as Medicare.

House Democrats first passed H.R. 3, or the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, in December 2019, but it stalled before getting a vote in the then-majority-GOP Senate. The Congressional Budget Office, a federal agency that provides economic advice to Congress, estimated that the price negotiation provision in H.R. 3 could save the federal government more than $456 billion over a decade. The CBO has not yet issued an updated score for the Peters bill or for other healthcare proposals being pushed by Democrats in this Congress, such as expanded benefits under Medicare to include hearing, dental, and vision coverage.

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The Energy and Commerce Committee reconvened Tuesday morning to debate the Democrats’ drug price negotiation proposal, which the party plans to include in the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure package known as the Build Back Better Act in the House.

Overnight Health Care — Democrats face setback on drug pricing

  Overnight Health Care — Democrats face setback on drug pricing Welcome to Wednesday's Overnight Health Care, where we're following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.It's been over a week, and the zebras running loose in Maryland-which were definitely not freed by Eleanor Holmes Norton- are still out there. Be safe! Three Democrats in the House voted against a drug pricing amendment, throwing the party's signature plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs into question. For The Hill, we're Peter Sullivan (psullivan@thehill.com), Nathaniel Weixel (nweixel@thehill.com) and Justine Coleman (jcoleman@thehill.com).

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Tags: Healthcare, News, Biden Administration, House Democrats, House Energy and Commerce Committee, House GOP, Infrastructure

Original Author: Cassidy Morrison

Original Location: House Democrat says he won't vote to advance party's drug pricing reforms

Medicare drug prices: White House plan to lower drug costs supports letting Medicare negotiate prices .
The Biden administration is lending its weight to congressional Democrats' controversial push to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. © Photo Illustration: Shutterstock/CNN The measure is a key pillar of the White House's plan to lower prescription drug prices that was released Thursday and comes as the House starts tackling the issue as it crafts a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan. The Senate Budget Committee last month recommended that the plan, which would not need Republican support if it is passed through reconciliation, reduce drug costs for patients.

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