Democrats say Bill to Kill price check shows GOP ‘wants you to spend more’ on drugs

On Friday, Democratic leaders lambasted a new Republican bill that would roll back modest prescription drug pricing reforms that US President Joe Biden recently signed into law.

“Their new bill is a giveaway to Big Pharma at the expense of senior citizens.”

Republican Senators James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Marco Rubio (Florida) introduced a bill that would repeal drug provisions, including price negotiation drugs by Medicare. of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Democrats sent to Biden’s office without GOP support using the budget reconciliation process.

In a statement criticizing the GOP’s so-called Pharmaceutical Innovation Protection Act, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre invoked the slogan of the campaign’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) campaign. former President Donald Trump.

“Today Republicans in the MAGA Congress introduced legislation that puts special interests ahead of working families,” she said. “Their new bill is a giveaway to Big Pharma at the expense of the elderly by ending Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug prices. Their view of the country is extreme and disconnected from working families across the country.”

Biden has repeatedly said, as he said in a primetime speech in Philadelphia last month, that “the Republican Party today is dominated, led and bullied by Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, also slammed the GOP’s attempt to reverse the IRA’s progress on drug pricing.

“If you thought Republicans were done trying to repeal hugely popular cost-cutting health care policies, think again,” she said. Previously, Republican lawmakers had tried to repeal or restrict the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, dozens of times.

Murray warned that the GOP bill would “remove one of the most powerful tools Democrats have adopted to fight soaring drug prices and force pharmaceutical companies to the negotiating table,” which she said , “clearly indicates that the Republicans’ health care proposals are the same as ever – higher costs for the sick.”

“People in Washington State and across the country want us to put patients before profits — and I’ve heard from so many seniors how relieved they are that Democrats have given Medicare a new power to negotiate prices and meet the out-of-control drug costs as part of the Cut Inflation Act,” she added. “This is a huge reform that will save so many money to so many old people, but not if these Senate Republicans are successful.”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who is running to unseat Rubio, said “he’s ashamed of leading the fight to raise drug prices for Florida seniors and passing the Big Pharma’s vested interests before doing what is right”.

“Floridians deserve a senator who shows up and works for them,” she added. “In the Senate, I will always fight to bring down the costs for our seniors.”

James V. Hayes