Bidenomics Means Lower Prescription Drug Costs, MAGA Control Means Higher Costs
August 29, 2023
Today, President Biden is continuing his efforts to lower prescription drug costs for working families by announcing the first batch of prescription drugs to undergo price negotiations with Medicare. Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans – including presidential candidates – have consistently opposed actions to lower health care costs, including railing against and calling to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act and Affordable Care Act, which millions of Americans rely on.
President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act requires pharmaceutical companies to rebate Medicare for price hikes that exceed inflation, caps seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 per month, and makes adult vaccines available to Medicare enrollees at no cost.
Axios: “The Biden administration is set to announce the first batch of prescription drugs that will be subject to new price negotiations with Medicare, kicking off formal discussions with drugmakers who are fiercely challenging the effort.”
Kaiser Family Foundation: “The Inflation Reduction Act requires drug manufacturers to pay a rebate to the federal government if prices for single-source drugs and biologicals covered under Medicare Part B and nearly all covered drugs under Part D increase faster than the rate of inflation (CPI-U).”
Kaiser Family Foundation: “The Inflation Reduction Act limits monthly cost sharing for insulin products to no more than $35 for Medicare beneficiaries.”
CNN: “Medicare enrollees can now get additional vaccines at no cost, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Before this year, vaccines for Covid-19, the flu, pneumonia and hepatitis B, for higher risk patients, were covered by Medicare Part B with no cost sharing. Now, all adult vaccines covered by Medicare Part D that are recommended by a federal advisory committee on immunization are available to enrollees at no cost.”
Health: “[The Inflation Reduction Act] caps Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending under the Medicare Part D benefit, first by eliminating coinsurance above the catastrophic threshold in 2024 and then by adding a $2,000 cap on spending in 2025.”
2024 Republicans, however, have railed against and vowed to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which is already lowering health care costs for hardworking Americans.
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.”
Scott: “I would simply eliminate the IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act, which of course, is a lie from the pit of hell…I would start the process of gutting that legislation.”
Haley: “[The Inflation Reduction Act] ‘is a communist manifesto.’”
Pence: “In yet another policy failure of the Biden Administration, the Inflation Reduction Act just signed into law undermines incentives to create new life-saving drugs through government-imposed price caps on prescription drugs.”
KARK: “In a statement Thursday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson came out in opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act, currently under debate in the senate. The act, a significant part of the Biden presidential agenda, puts billions of dollars into energy extraction and IRS enforcement, as well as health care reforms in Medicare drug pricing and Affordable Care Act extension.”
Christie: “The Inflation Reduction Act was a mistake.”
Burgum on whether he would push to repeal the IRA: “Yeah.”
2024 Republicans also have also spent years attacking and trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act—trying their hardest to strip millions of hardworking Americans’ access to health care coverage.
NBC: “Trump approved a surprise decision to push for the complete elimination of the Affordable Care Act in the courts. If it succeeded, millions of Americans would lose private insurance or Medicaid coverage and the health care system would be thrown into chaos.”
NPR: “The very day President Trump was sworn in — Jan. 20, 2017 — he signed an executive order instructing administration officials ‘to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay’ implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, while Congress got ready to repeal and replace President Obama’s signature health law.”
Miami Herald: “‘Mike Pence: ‘The first order of business is to repeal and replace Obamacare’”
HuffPost: “As a Republican serving in the U.S. House, [DeSantis] was part of a far-right caucus that voted against the first ACA repeal bill that leadership brought to the floor because, DeSantis and his allies said, it didn’t undo enough of the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP leaders eventually put forward a more aggressive repeal. DeSantis and his colleagues voted yes on that one, but it failed in the Senate.”
New York Times: Tim Scott voted for all three major Republican-led proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017.
Live News 5: “Gov. Haley speaks against Affordable Care Act, SC prepares for key deadline”
Politico: “Despite the fact that millions of people had enrolled in Obamacare, the health law remains a ‘failure on a whole number of levels’ and should be repealed, Christie said. But, he added, Republicans must also offer a concrete replacement. The conversation, he said ‘must start from a position of repeal.’”
Reuters: “Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas has signed legislation that will end by 2017 the state’s innovative but controversial adaptation of the Affordable Care Act, which has provided nearly 190,000 residents with health coverage.”
HealthInsurance.org: “In late 2017, Burgum and 19 other Republican governors wrote a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to repeal the ACA.
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 remain hellbent on repealing these historic investments that are improving the lives of 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.”