Democrats to Give Medicare the Power to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices in the Build Back Better Act
Democrats have reached a historic agreement to drive down prescription drug prices for the American people. For nearly 20 years, Medicare has been banned from negotiating the price of prescription drugs, and Big Pharma has been able to dictate prices while Americans pay three times more for their medications than people in other countries. The Build Back Better Act will finally give Medicare the power to negotiate, and it will cap seniors out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 per month, limit diabetic Medicare patients’ insulin costs to $35 per month, and end excessive price gouging of medicines for all Americans.
Thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Democrats in Congress, Americans will finally see real relief at the pharmacy counter, and millions of families will no longer have to struggle to afford the medications they need to survive.
Politico: ‘A Massive Step Forward’: Democrats Clinch Drug Pricing Deal. “Democrats on Tuesday announced an agreement on drug pricing reform, coming out in favor of allowing Medicare Part D to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for the first time since its creation, a move the drug industry has fought for nearly two decades.” [Politico, 11/2/21]
NPR: Democrats’ Deal On Prescription Drugs Would Lower Costs For Seniors. “The 2021 threshold is currently set at $6,500 for out-of-pocket drug costs, a number that activists in the health care space argue is too high and can still be detrimental to low- and middle-income Americans, for whom the program is designed. The White House in a Tuesday evening statement praised the compromise, calling the ban on direct negotiations between Medicare and drug makers an “unfair prohibition” that hurt American seniors.” [NPR, 11/2/21]
The New York Times: Democrats Add Drug Cost Curbs To Social Policy Plan, Pushing For Vote. “House Democrats reached a deal on Tuesday to add a measure to curb prescription drug costs to President Biden’s $1.85 trillion social safety net plan, agreeing to allow the government for the first time to negotiate prices for medications covered by Medicare as they pushed for a quick vote on the bill.” [The New York Times, 11/2/21]
The Washington Post: Democrats Announce Deal On Prescription Drug Pricing As Another Part Of Spending Plan Comes Into Focus. “Under the deal, the U.S. government would gain the ability to negotiate some drug prices on behalf of seniors who participate in Medicare. Such a power for the first time would give the benefit program leverage to drive down the price of medicine, allowing the federal government — along with millions of families — to save money.” [The Washington Post, 11/2/21]
Axios: Democrats’ Historic Compromise On Prescription Drug Prices. “The deal hits on Democrats’ three main pillars of drug price reform: It allows Medicare to negotiate the prices of some drugs, it puts a cap on how much drugmakers can hike prices in both Medicare and the commercial market, and it redesigns the Medicare Part D benefit in a way that significantly reduces seniors’ out-of-pocket costs.” [Axios, 11/3/21]
CNBC: Democrats Reach A Breakthrough Deal On Drug Prices, As Spending Bill Nears The Finish Line. “House and Senate Democrats reached a breakthrough agreement on lowering prescription drug prices Tuesday, putting an end to one of the party’s thorniest disputes in their $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill… The last-minute deal surprised Democrats outside of leadership, in part because Medicare negotiation powers were not part of a framework agreement that President Joe Biden had released last week…” [CNBC, 11/2/21]
Bloomberg: Democrats Reach Drug Pricing Deal Key To Vote On Biden Plan. “Schumer said the price of insulin will go from $600 per month to $35 under the deal, which also would put a $2,000 annual cap on Medicare drug costs. ‘By empowering Medicare to directly negotiate prices in Part B and Part D, this deal will directly reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for millions of patients every time they visit the pharmacy or doctor,’ Schumer said.” [Bloomberg, 11/2/21]
The Washington Post: Democrats Are Delivering Action On Drug Prices To Voters. “The compromise reached yesterday allows Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs for the first time. The plan delivers a defeat to the pharmaceutical industry, but it’s a far cry from the sweeping reforms Democrats originally envisioned… Democrats pushing for a more far-reaching policy are coalescing around the message that something is better than nothing.” [The Washington Post, 11/3/21]