Biden says he focused intensely on lowering drug costs

Biden says he focused intensely on lowering drug costs

LAS VEGAS (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his administration was “intensely” focused on reducing health care costs and took aim at “MAGA” Republicans who he said intend to dial back Medicare coverage for millions of Americans.

Biden used a speech in Las Vegas, where he was wrapping up a three-day western swing, to make the case for how Democrats are dealing with skyrocketing drug prices compared to their Republican counterparts.

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The president sought to create a contrast as he prepared to announce an expected re-election. Wednesday’s speech in Las Vegas could serve as an early preview of the campaign ahead as Biden aims to keep his efforts to reduce drug costs at the center of his policy and political agenda.

Biden says he focused intensely on lowering drug costs

Biden, speaking before a crowd of doctors and nurses at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security while continuing his efforts to pressure drug companies to lower the cost of insulin for Americans with diabetes. Cited the successful efforts of the administration.

“The mega Republicans in Congress don’t think that’s a good idea,” Biden said. “They think Big Pharma should be able to make huge profits at the expense of the American people”

The White House seems to have a message of victory in showcasing legislation passed last year that is expected to save taxpayers billions of dollars and lower drug costs for the roughly 84 million Americans who rely on Medicare.

Before the speech, White House officials made the case that the issue is central to Americans’ lives and asked Republicans to work with them to lower prescription costs.

“Such savings will give people a little more breathing room, more comfort as they decide to go to the grocery store to buy their food, more ability to pay their rent, or maybe it’s just more affordable for their families.” There’s something good to do for families, Health and Human Services Secretary Javier Becerra told reporters Tuesday, previewing remarks from the Democratic president.

Biden talked about how his administration is advancing several parts of legislation that passed last year in a Democratic-controlled Congress that caps the price of insulin, makes most vaccines free and allows the federal government Allows for deals on a handful of drugs. For Medicare Enrollees.

The federal government hopes to see significant savings from those negotiations and make money from a rule that requires drug makers to send checks to Medicare when they raise drug prices above inflation.

Biden said, “Let’s get the job done.” “Let’s Protect Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Everyone”

Already, the law caps the price of insulin at $35 for disabled and older Americans who rely on Medicare.

Biden has proposed expanding that limit to all Americans, but that plan faces an uphill battle. An attempt in the Democratic-controlled Congress last year to pass legislation that would lower the cost of insulin for uninsured Americans or those with private insurance failed.

However, Biden still saw last year’s bill as a success for the millions of Americans who are not on Medicare. Faced with public pressure after tripling their prices for the life-saving drug over the past two decades, drug companies have begun voluntarily reducing the price of insulin. Drugmaker Novo Nordisk announced Tuesday that it is cutting the price of insulin to about $72 per vial, shortly after rival Eli Lilly announced that it would start selling its generics for $25.

Biden says he focused intensely on lowering drug costs

“This builds on the significant progress we made last year when I signed a law capping insulin at $35 for seniors,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday on Novo Nordisk’s announcement. “I urge all other manufacturers to follow suit and Republicans in Congress join us and cap insulin at $35 for all Americans.”

Another piece of legislation that the administration hopes will have ripple effects for Americans: Requiring that drug companies give Medicare discounts when they raise the price of drugs faster than inflation.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services won’t bill drug companies until 2025, but the federal agency has already begun tracking drug prices. The agency on Wednesday identified 27 drugs whose prices were raised sharply, a move that would cap the price Medicare enrollees would pay for them. The administration hopes that will prompt drug makers to lower the price of those drugs.

Biden has sought in recent weeks to strike a contrast between how his party and Republicans handle health care affordability, repeatedly voicing concern that the GOP would seek to undo Medicare cost-saving provisions or cut the program. Will try to

Last week, Biden pledged to address the financial challenges facing Medicare instead by raising the Medicare tax rate from 3.8% to 5% on people with annual income of $400,000 or more.

Republican leaders — who have publicly rejected accusations that they would cut the program — have yet to unite around a plan to address Medicare’s looming shortfall. Last year, the House Republican Study Committee proposed raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. told reporters last week that Biden’s plan to raise taxes for Medicare “will not see the light of day.”

Seitz reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Chris Megarian in Washington contributed to this report.


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