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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Dame drug price curbs, partisan lines draw on economic plan

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned that Democrats’ plans to curb drug prices would conjure “socialist price controls” among Americans and see them as partisan battle lines over a shrunken economic package. treatment will be required. that President Joe Biden wants Congress to complete within weeks.

2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois told reporters in response Monday, “Bring it on,” underlining his party’s hopes that the fight will strengthen them in November’s congressional elections. “This prescription drug issue is an inflation issue. It’s a public health issue. It’s a cost to government issue. And it’s something that the American people get.”

Biden admitted last week that he would settle for a very narrow economic plan As much as he asked for at the beginning of his presidency. Sen. Joe Manchin, World Nation News.Va. Surrendering to the U.S., Biden said he wants Democrats to quickly write and pass a measure to limit drug prices, end subsidies for people who buy health insurance, and marginally reduce the federal deficit. Do it.

Manchin, one of the most conservative members of his party, a fossil fuel champion and a mandated 50-50 Senate vote, announced last week that they were the only elements he was ready to incorporate into law. He cited concerns about inflation which has risen sharply this year. Munchkin’s remarks meant Democrats’ hopes of involving efforts to reverse climate change were over a long shot. this year.

“I didn’t get away with anything,” the West Virginian told reporters Monday about months of talks over the party’s economic push, now seemingly on life support with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. Is. He called inflation his “biggest concern” and said, “I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

While Democrats seemed largely ready to accept the low-down bill and claim election-season achievement, Manchin’s performance is clearly going downhill on many. His objections sparked most of Biden’s multi-billion dollar aspirations To strengthen child care and other social programs and raise taxes on the wealthy, contributing to criticisms that Democrats have fallen short while controlling the White House and – narrowly – Congress.

“I think Joe should have clarified his position a long time ago,” Durbin said. “We’ve spent a lot of time, wasted a lot of time on the conversation.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told fellow Democrats in a letter that the Senate’s proposed health provisions are “essential, as we must act to reduce the cost of drugs.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said: “We’ve waited a year and a half for 50 votes. It’s time to go where we can.”

The drug measure negotiated by Schumer and Manchin would allow Medicare to negotiate prices for the pharmaceuticals it buys, requiring manufacturers to pay a rebate for certain price increases, out-of-pocket Medicare recipients. Closing the $2,000 annual ceiling on out-of-pocket drug costs and providing free vaccines for older people.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the proposal would save the government $288 billion over the coming decade, mainly because the government would pay less for pharmaceuticals. Expanded health care subsidies would use some of that money with the rest for deficit reduction.

McConnell said the proposal would penalize an industry that distributed COVID-19 vaccines just two years ago, a remarkably rapid and effective achievement, and hurt patients.

“Washington Democrats are working right now to find ways to put more bureaucracy between American patients and the treatments they rely on,” he said. “They want to put socialist value control between American innovators and new cures for debilitating diseases.”

White House officials touted the benefits of increasing subsidies and lowering the cost of drugs for millions to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Both have long been Democratic targets.

“We are on the verge of a huge victory here on health care,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. It reiterated last week a pledge from Biden to take executive action if Congress fails to act on the climate, But did not provide any details about what Biden could do.

Notably, Schumer did not mention economic legislation as the Senate begins its session on Monday. The Democratic senator seemed certain to discuss his plans during his weekly Tuesday lunch. Biden and party leaders are expected to approve a package on Republican opposition with a possible consensus before Congress begins the recess in August.

Manchin said he would consider climate change legislation in September after seeing updated inflation data. It would be extremely difficult to approve a measure in the heat of the election campaign. Republicans are likely to win control of the House and have a real chance of capturing the Senate as well.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, the industry’s most influential lobbying group, said the Democrats’ latest bill had “goed from bad to worse for patients.” Spokesperson Debra DeShong said the measure would “jeopardize patient access and future innovations.”

PhRMA said its member companies spent a record $102.3 billion on research and development last year.

Overall, the industry spent $83 billion on research and development in 2019, which was 10 times the inflation-adjusted value spent annually in the 1980s, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a report last year. was.

The Budget Office said drugmakers spent an average of a quarter of their net revenues on R&D in 2019, far larger than the semiconductor, technology hardware and software industries.

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Associated Press writers Seung Min Kim and Matthew Perrone contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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