House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just introduced a plan to lower prescription drug prices, as we reported in September 2019.
At the time, we noted the plan would empower Medicare to negotiate prices on up to 250 of the most expensive drugs on the market, including insulin. Any company choosing not to negotiate could be hit with penalties if they won’t negotiate those prices. The plan would also limit copays for seniors covered under Plan D of Medicare’s drug program to $2,000.
On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the spending bill, sending it to the full House floor for a vote later this month. Reportedly, it has a high chance of passage in the House controlled with 234 Democrat-filled seats. Republicans expressed concern the legislation was rushed and will be dead on arrival in the Senate.
Pelosi’s bill will ensure a “loss [of] live-saving cures, lost jobs and a nation that will no longer lead the world in medical innovation,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, as quoted by CNBC. “This is a dangerous bill with long-term consequences and it doesn’t have to be that way.”
In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Democrat Ron Wyden also introduced their own bipartisan drug price bill that would make changes to Medicare by adding an out-of-pocket maximum for beneficiaries and capping drug price increases at the rate of inflation, among other measures, notes CNBC.
That plan, which will not allow Medicare to negotiate prices, is backed by President Trump.
While Pelosi’s legislation will likely pass the House, it’ll be dead on arrival in the Senate.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out in the end. Stay tuned for more.