As Biden-Harris Administration Fights to Lower Health Care and Prescription Drug Costs, MAGA Republicans Side With Big Pharma
December 7, 2023
Following the Biden-Harris administration’s announcement today of new actions to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement:
“As Donald Trump and the rest of the MAGA 2024 presidential field continue to wage an all-out war on our health care, President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on helping families across the country bring home the lifesaving medications they need, at a lower cost. While MAGA Republicans peddle a deeply unpopular agenda to jack up prices on working families and put more profit in the pockets of big insurance and drug companies, the Biden-Harris administration is fighting tirelessly to ensure Americans have access to the health care they deserve.”
Today, the Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to bring down prescription drug costs for American families – building on previous steps the administration has taken to cap insulin costs, lower the cost of health insurance, and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.
The Hill: “White House National Economic Director Lael Brainard said ‘We’ll make clear that when drug companies won’t sell taxpayer funded drugs at reasonable prices, we will be prepared to allow other companies to provide those drugs for less.’”
Politico: “The White House believes it can seize the patents of certain expensive drugs in an effort to create more competition and lower prices and will today give guidance to federal agencies, POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn reports. Price and availability will be among the factors in the forthcoming framework that the Commerce Department will recommend agencies consider.”
This comes after the Trump administration tried to restrict the federal government’s power to seize patents of expensive drugs – once again protecting Big Pharma’s profits at the expense of Americans.
Stat News: “In a little-noticed move, a [Trump] Commerce Department unit has proposed a new rule that would prevent the federal government from using a controversial legal provision known as ‘march-in rights’ to combat the high prices of products developed with taxpayer dollars. And if adopted, the change may rob Americans of a tool that could be used to lower prescription drug costs, according to consumer advocates.”
2024 Republicans have railed against and even threatened to repeal President Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which is lowering prescription drug costs for families across the country.
Insider: “Former President Donald Trump on Friday slammed the Democratic-led climate, health, and tax bill, arguing that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was ‘taken for a ride’ by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.”
DeSantis: “You know, the good thing is I think there’s a pretty clear path to being able to reverse a lot of this stuff. The things he’s doing through executive order, you could reverse right away. But even what they did with the Inflation Reduction Act, they passed that via budget reconciliation in the Senate. So with 50 votes, I think, you know, we win the presidency, I’m pretty sure we would win the Senate and keep the House. And so at that case, what they put in by reconciliation, you could repeal by reconciliation.”
Haley: “[The Inflation Reduction Act] ‘is a communist manifesto.’”
Christie: “The Inflation Reduction Act was a mistake.”
The Biden administration also announced new actions to address anticompetitive practices and corporate greed in health care, too often leading to higher costs, worse quality, and less access to care—particularly in rural areas.
CNN: “The Biden administration also unveiled several efforts aimed at countering anticompetitive practices by big health care companies. Some are aimed at private equity firms, which have been buying up physician practices, nursing homes and other health care providers. Officials are concerned that corporate owners are ‘maximizing their profits at the expense of patients’ health and safety, while increasing costs for patients and taxpayers alike,’ according to the administration’s fact sheet. The Justice Department, along with HHS and the Federal Trade Commission, will seek input on how the growing involvement of private equity and other corporations in health care is affecting Americans. The agencies will use the information to identify areas for future regulation and enforcement prioritization and will work together on various competition policy initiatives.”
Meanwhile, every Republican presidential hopeful has called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, a move that would strip away health coverage and increase health care costs for millions of hardworking Americans.
Daily Beast: “Trump Revives Plan to Dismantle Obamacare if Elected in 2024”
Jack Heath: “They’re going ahead and saying you would repeal the Affordable Care Act, would you?”
Haley: “It’s not about one small policy of, you know, Affordable Care Act. It’s about fixing the entire health care system.”
MSNBC: “Ron DeSantis joins the Republican campaign to tear down the ACA”
Christie: “It’s about delivering on issues that voters care about. So the fact is that they care deeply about Obamacare. And Donald Trump promised them he’d repeal and replace it. He had a Republican Congress. He didn’t do it.”
Ramaswamy: “I think Obamacare has been a disaster.”
MAGA Republicans in Congress blocked a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that would cap the price of insulin at $35/month for private insurers – and they remain hellbent on repealing these historic investments that are lowering costs for working families.
CBS News: “Senate Republicans on Sunday blocked a $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin in the private market from being included in Democrats’ economic tax and spending package, voting down an amendment to the measure during a marathon session leading up to what Democrats hope will be final passage of the bill.”
The Hill: “Senate Republicans on Friday introduced a bill that would roll back the drug pricing reforms included in the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act, including the measures allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and capping annual drug expenses for many seniors.”
“The bill allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s history. It also placed a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on annual drug costs for seniors on Medicare, as well as a $35 monthly cop for insulin. … If passed, the bill states it would make it so that the drug pricing measures in the Inflation Reduction Act ‘had never been enacted.’”
Axios: “Some key House Republicans are calling for the repeal of Democrats’ newly-passed drug pricing measure if the GOP flips control of one or both chambers of Congress next year. Why it matters: The comments show Republicans are not giving up the fight against sweeping measures aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, and give a glimpse of what their health agenda could look like.”