Vulnerable Democrats Pressure Leadership to Lower Drug Prices in Biden Package

A group of 15 vulnerable House Democrats is calling on leaders to include a measure to cut prescription drug prices in President BidenJoe Biden White House reveals strategy for net zero goal by 2050 Southwest investigation report Pilot said ‘Let’s Brandon’ in flight House Rules Committee will not meet Monday on reconciliation package MORESocial spending bill, as negotiations on the issue intensify.

The letter, led by Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), cites the Democrats’ repeated campaign promises to lower the cost of drugs.

“As majority builders in competitive districts, we promised our constituents that we would come to Washington to fight on their behalf for lower drug prices,” the lawmakers write. “We cannot turn back now on our promise to the American people. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to include legislative language in the Better Reconstruction Act that will be voted on by the full House to accomplish this. “

Provisions to lower drug prices were left outside of the Build Back Better package that the White House released last week. But now there is a struggle to reach an agreement on the issue before the House votes on the package as early as this week, and sources say negotiators have moved forward.

The Democratic leadership is engaged in negotiations on the issue with a handful of moderates who have raised concerns with earlier versions of the drug price measure, including Sen. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten SinemaBiden sparks high-level dispute over spending framework Officials and lawmakers express optimism that infrastructure and voting spending is close to Buttigieg in passing spending packages: ‘We are the closest we’ve ever been’ MORE (D-Ariz.) And Rep. Scott petersScott H. PetersBiden Sparks High-Stakes Dispute Over Spending Framework Overnight Healthcare – Presented by Altria – Young Children One Step Closer to Vaccine Lawmakers Discuss Potential Compromise to Revive Price Measure for medications MORE (D-Calif.).

A flurry of conversations continued throughout the weekend. “I spent all day yesterday talking on the phone,” the Senator said. Bernie sandersBernie SandersHouse Rules Committee not meeting Monday on reconciliation package Biden triggers high-stakes fight over spending framework Officials and lawmakers express optimism that infrastructure and voting spending are close MORE (I-Vt.) He said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying he is pushing to add a drug price measure.

Lawmakers who signed the letter pointed to the power of the pharmaceutical industry to combat the proposal. Pharmaceutical companies have warned that radical measures would damage innovation leading to the development of new treatments.

“If we fail, those on the other side of this problem will have to explain to Americans why they let Big Pharma win, why entrenched special interests take precedence over the American people,” the lawmakers wrote.

Recent discussions have focused on a proposal that is significantly reduced to previous Democratic bills. For example, the commitment will likely apply only to older drugs that are no longer in their “exclusivity” period, when they are protected from competition. The proposal under discussion would also limit drug price increases to the rate of inflation and limit out-of-pocket costs for seniors.

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