Democrats disagree on how to spend the unexpected potential of prescription drugs

Democrats disagree on how to spend the unexpected potential of prescription drugs

Most Democrats agree the time is ripe to tackle high drug prices. In 2019 the Democratic-led House passed a broad drug price bill that was reintroduced just days ago with the backing of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Senate Democrats have also been working on drug price legislation. There is some difference between liberals and moderates on how far to push the drug industry for savings, but the consensus is that drugs cost too much and the government needs to step in. But there is likely another big reason Democrats are loath to address drug prices, despite broad bipartisan support. After nearly a year of uncharacteristically being on the same page when it comes to health care, Democratic lawmakers are reverting to a more familiar position: They are at loggerheads about what to do next. The real problem is what to do with the considerable budget savings that would be produced by policies like allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. That’s something that pits the more liberal Democratic backers of a “Medicare for All” insurance system against moderates who would instead put the savings into expanding the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

The American Families Plan, the second part of Biden’s expansive “infrastructure” agenda, includes sweeping programs aimed at boosting access to child care, higher education and paid family leave. But despite White House signals in March that health also would be a major part of the package, the only health proposal was one that would make permanent the temporary subsidy increases, passed as part of the covid relief bill earlier this spring, on insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges.
It can be republished for free.

Initial reports suggest that Biden and his aides did not want to pick a fight now with the powerful prescription drug industry, which is riding high in public opinion after producing covid vaccines in record time. They worry that the industry’s impressive lobbying clout could endanger the rest of the program. Use Our Content

But at the same time, more than 50 members of the “New Democrat Coalition,” a more moderate group of House Democrats, also wrote to Biden, urging him to use the package to enhance the ACA. “Over a decade after the passage of the Obama-Biden administration’s landmark health care legislation, we are eager to work with the Biden-Harris administration to fortify and build on the ACA to achieve universal coverage with access to affordable, quality care,” they wrote. This particular disagreement harks back to the 1980s and ’90s, when generations were pitted against each other in a sometimes ugly way. Younger Americans, worried about rising rates of the uninsured, accused Medicare beneficiaries who wanted better benefits of being “greedy geezers.” A law Congress passed in 1988 that would have boosted Medicare benefits and added a cap on catastrophic expenses caused a backlash when Congress decided wealthier seniors should pay for it themselves via added taxes. Seniors angry that younger people would not help foot the bill rebelled, and the entire program was repealed in 1989 before it ever took effect. On hearing reports that Biden’s families plan would leave major health items on the cutting-room floor, Medicare for All sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 16 Senate Democratic colleagues urged Biden not just to include Medicare drug price negotiation authority in his package, but also to use the proceeds to lower the Medicare eligibility age (a Biden campaign promise) and add hearing, vision and dental benefits to Medicare. House Democrats in their 2019 bill opted to use the savings to provide those added health benefits to current Medicare beneficiaries. “We have an historic opportunity to make the most significant expansion of Medicare since it was signed into law,” wrote the senators. A similar letter went to the president signed by 80 House members, led by Medicare for All backer Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).

But the factions are taking shape in Congress. Biden is, for the moment at least, taking both sides. Savings from drug price reforms “can go to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicare coverage and benefits — without costing taxpayers one additional penny,” he said in his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night.

The News Highlights

  • Democrats disagree on how to spend the unexpected potential of prescription drugs
  • Check the latest Health news updates and information about health.
Disclaimer: If you need to edit or update this news from compsmag then kindly contact us Learn more

For Latest News Follow us on Google News


Latest Headlines
  • Show all
  • Trending News
  • Popular By week
Frostpunk, a post-apocalyptic city-building app, is coming to iOS and Android

Frostpunk, a post-apocalyptic city-building app, is coming to iOS and Android

NetEase and 11 Bit have gotten the ball rolling on Frostpunk Mobile quickly, as the game already has a dedicated, but rather sparse, website up and running ...
10 Best Split-Screen Games You Can Play On The Xbox Series X

10 Best Split-Screen Games You Can Play On The Xbox Series X

Split-screen gaming, whether it be competitive multiplayer or couch co-op, has been on a downward trend since the seventh generation of home consoles were ...
Six from MIT named 2021 Knight-Hennessy Scholars |  MIT News

Six from MIT named 2021 Knight-Hennessy Scholars | MIT News

Senior Orisa Coombs hails from Aurora, Colorado, and will receive her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering this June. In the fall, she will begin a PhD ...
Biden’s next two stimulus accounts: 5 ways your new packages can send more money

Biden’s next two stimulus accounts: 5 ways your new packages can send more money

As far as we know, the American Jobs Plan wouldn’t include a fourth check or other obvious savings. It’s the bill after that — the American Families Plan — ...
Found fake money |  News

Found fake money | News

Counterfeit money is always a concern in any community and can cause great harm financially to businesses. “With this many counterfeit bills, the U.S. Secret ...
Roku reaches 53.6 million active accounts in the first quarter, overwhelming revenue forecasts – deadline

Roku reaches 53.6 million active accounts in the first quarter, overwhelming revenue forecasts – deadline

Total streaming on Roku devices came in at 18.3 billion hours, an increase of 49% year-over-year. Average revenue per user reached $32.14, up 32%. The other ...
Boston restaurants looking for workers because Mother’s Day drives big business –  NewsBoston

Boston restaurants looking for workers because Mother’s Day drives big business – NewsBoston

READ MORE: NASA Wallops Rocket Launch Now Scheduled For Sunday Night “I’m pretty concerned because I’m doing it myself with the family, but we’re short of ...
Free online environmental health program May 12 |  House and garden

Free online environmental health program May 12 | House and garden

Source This program is sponsored by Aging Partners, Conservation Nebraska and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. This program will help you ...
Apex Legends Wattson nerf being investigated

Apex Legends Wattson nerf being investigated

Apex Legends introduced Valkyrie with Legacy, here’s everything you need to know about the new legend. We have a guide to Apex Legends Arenas, and an Apex ...
Is the NCAA finally ready to allow athletes to earn money?

Is the NCAA finally ready to allow athletes to earn money?

NCAA delayed a January vote on new rules The NCAA attempted to call California’s law “unconstitutional” in the fall of 2019. Months later — and as other states ...
Show next
Compsmag - Latest News from tech, business and health
Logo