Biden Administration Set to Push Proposal to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

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President Joe Biden is pushing a plan to reduce prescription drug costs for Americans covered by the federally-funded Medicare program. This morning, the White House released its initiative to lower healthcare costs that includes the ability for Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs.

In a “Fact Sheet” released by the White House, the Biden administration is pushing for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies over the costs of prescription drugs, something it is currently prohibited by law from doing. The Biden administration said Medicare should have the capability to negotiate in order to secure the best price for Americans. The proposals to lower prescription drug prices are part of Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

In addition to calling for the ability to negotiate, the Biden administration is also calling for drug companies that raise prices “faster than inflation” should be forced to pay a penalty. Also, the White House called for a cap to the amount Medicare beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket for prescription drugs each year. The administration said this is essential so that senior citizens who have to take expensive prescription medications will still be able to make ends meet. There are more than 61 million Americans who receive coverage through Medicare.

“Right now, we pay the highest prescription drug cost prices of any developed nation in the world — the highest,” Biden said in remarks Wednesday. “My Build Back Better plan is going to lower predi- — prescription drug costs by finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate the prices of drug they purchase for the American people, saving Americans hundreds of billions of dollars.”

The White House Fact Sheet was released hours before the president will make a speech regarding the high cost of prescription drugs. The Fact Sheet and the proposals will not be new. They are all things that Biden, as well as other candidates, elected officials and previous presidents, have sought in the past.

The costs of prescription drugs covered by Medicare has long been a political hot potato. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for reform without following through. The administration of former-President Donald Trump called for similar reforms proposed by the Biden administration. He issued executive orders allowing for the importation of less-expensive drugs from overseas, as well as linking U.S.-paid prices to those paid by other governments around the world under his “favored nations clause.

Trump’s actions were opposed by industry trade organizations and it stands to reason that Biden’s will be similarly opposed.

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