Drug Pricing Control Bill Announced by Pelosi

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the Democrats’ new ambitious measure–controlling drug pricing and making healthcare concerns a priority for 2020. The bill would allow the federal government to negotiate the prices of up to 250 brand-name drugs in Medicare, according to The Washington Post.

The measure is facing widespread and intense pushback from congressional Republicans, but the president’s potential support of the measure could send it through. Trump has mentioned addressing prescription drug costs before the 2020 election. Trump even tweeted that he would support the bill.

“The American people need Congress to help,” Trump tweeted. “I like Sen. Grassley’s drug pricing bill very much, and it’s great to see Speaker Pelosi’s bill today. Let’s get it done in a bipartisan way!”

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Under the new measure, the Health and Human Services secretary would be negotiating the prices of drugs in Medicare that do not have competitors. The bill would also impose financial penalties on drug companies that failed to come to an agreement with the secretary. The negotiated prices would be available to all purchasers, not just Medicare beneficiaries.

In further protection for people, the measure would put a cup on seniors’ out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year and drug companies that have already raised their prices above the inflation rate since 2016 would be forced to lower their prices or give the portion back to the U.S. Treasury.

Some Democrats are still not pleased with the measure and thinks it doesn’t do enough.

“We still are watching a few things. You can have everything great in the world, but if you have a few handfuls of drugs negotiated, then it’s not going to look the same to the public as something more substantive,” Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, co-chair of the congressional Progressive Caucus, told the Post Wednesday.


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