President Joe Biden is pushing a plan to lower prescription drug costs for Americans covered by the federally-funded Medicare program.
Yesterday, the White House released its initiative to lower healthcare costs that include the ability for Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs.
In a fact sheet released by the White House, the Biden administration is pushing for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies over the costs of prescription drugs, something it is currently prohibited by law from doing.
The Biden administration said Medicare should have the capability to negotiate in order to secure the best price for Americans. The proposal to lower prescription drug prices is a part of Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
In addition to calling for the ability to negotiate, the Biden administration is also calling for drug companies that raise prices “faster than inflation” to have to pay a penalty. Also, the White House called for a cap to the amount Medicare beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket for prescription drugs each year.
The administration said this is essential so that senior citizens who have to take expensive prescription medications will still be able to make ends meet. There are more than 61 million Americans who receive coverage through Medicare.
“Right now, we pay the highest prescription drug cost prices of any developed nation in the world — the highest,” Biden said in remarks Wednesday. “My Build Back Better plan is going to lower prescription drug costs by finally giving Medicare the power to negotiate the prices of drug they purchase for the American people, saving Americans hundreds of billions of dollars.”
The costs of prescription drugs covered by Medicare have long been a political hot potato. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called for reform without following through.
The administration of former President Donald Trump called for similar reforms proposed by the Biden administration. He issued executive orders allowing for the importation of less-expensive drugs from overseas, as well as linking U.S.-paid prices to those paid by other governments around the world under his “favored nations clause.”
Industry trade organizations opposed Trump’s actions, and it stands to reason that Biden’s will be similarly opposed.