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HEADLINES: Biden Zeroes In on Health Care Ahead of State of the Union Address

By March 7, 2024No Comments

This evening, President Biden is expected to zero in on his plans to lower health care costs during his final state of the union address ahead of the election. This follows the agenda released yesterday by the Biden-Harris administration to build on the work of the Inflation Reduction Act and lower health care costs for even more Americans. Specifically, President Biden outlined a list of priorities to lower prescription drug prices, extend affordable health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, crack down on junk plans and surprise medical expenses, and protect health care for seniors and families for years to come. 

Meanwhile, the Republicans are dead set on raising the costs of health care, denying coverage to millions of people, and slashing funding for critical programs. Learn more about the MAGA-Republican plan for health care here.


Protect Our Care’s Leslie Dach Quoted in HuffPost: Joe Biden To Call For Expanding New Initiatives To Lower Drug Costs. “‘President Biden is doubling down on his efforts to lower drug prices, keep premium costs low, expand Medicaid, and put the health and well-being of families first,” Leslie Dach, chair of the advocacy group Protect Our Care, said in a prepared statement released Wednesday afternoon. Dach also called Biden “a health care president.’” [HuffPost, 3/6/24]

Axios: Biden Speech Again Seeks Credit On Drug Prices. “Drug prices still sync with the Biden campaign’s bigger theme around helping Americans make ends meet…  Biden tonight will try to build on the IRA by calling for expanded Medicare negotiations for at least 50 drugs each year, White House domestic policy adviser Neera Tanden told reporters… Biden will also call on Congress to expand a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs in Medicare to all private insurance plans, and to limit patient cost-sharing for high-value generic drugs to $2 in all Medicare plans, Tanden said.” [Axios, 3/7/24]

The Washington Post: In Third SOTU, Biden Will Urge Congress To Advance His Health Policies. “Biden is expected to urge lawmakers to increase the number of medications subject to annual Medicare price negotiations. He’ll push to extend penalties for drug price hikes to the commercial market. And he’ll advocate for expanding out-of-pocket price caps on prescription drugs.” [The Washington Post, 3/7/24]

CBS News: In State Of The Union Address, Biden To Urge Congress To Pass Measures To Lower Health Care Costs. “President Biden plans to urge Congress to focus on cost-saving ideas for prescription drugs in his State of the Union address Thursday night, including capping out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for all Americans and allowing the federal government to negotiate the prices of widely used medications… The White House also said the president on Thursday night is expected to tout his administration’s work on “surprise” costly medical bills from out-of-network providers and expanding health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.” [CBS News, 3/7/24]

The Hill: Biden To Focus On Drug Prices, Health Costs During State Of The Union. “Medicare will eventually be able to negotiate the prices of 20 drugs under the current law, but White House officials told reporters Wednesday that Biden will propose expanding that number to 50 and bringing more drugs into the program sooner. Biden will also propose extending Medicare’s $2,000 annual cap on out-of-pocket drug costs to people with commercial insurance… The policies that the president is set to pitch to Congress represent the Biden campaign’s effort to remind voters of the administration’s actions to lower health costs, even though many of the biggest wins won’t take effect this year, while also trying to showcase a path forward for the next four years.” [The Hill, 3/6/24]

STAT: Biden To Propose Expanding Medicare Drug Price Negotiation In State Of The Union. “The expansion is one of several appeals Biden will make to Congress to build on health care measures to lower prescription drug costs and protect patients from surprise medical bills, the White House said… It’s also a tightrope walk for Biden, who is simultaneously trying to build awareness that his administration passed drug pricing policies, even though the biggest ones haven’t gone into effect yet, and pitch a vision to go even further if voters reelect him for a second term.” [STAT, 3/6/24]

Roll Call: Biden To Renew Calls To Lower Health Costs At SOTU. “President Joe Biden will call on Congress to allow Medicare to increase its ability to negotiate drug prices and to expand caps on consumer prescription drug costs during his State of the Union address Thursday… the president will ask Congress to build on work from the 2022 health care and climate law that granted federal authority to negotiate the price of some drugs in Medicare, place caps on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors and charge drug companies if they raise prices at a rate higher than inflation.” [Roll Call, 3/6/24]