Senate rules official strikes part of Democrats’ drug pricing measures

Democrats’ sweeping economic package was narrowed somewhat on Saturday after a ruling by a top Senate official hit one of its provisions aimed at lowering the prices of prescription drugs.

The Senate MP, an official who determines whether facilities meet the chamber’s complicated budget rules, removed part of a provision that would limit pharmaceutical company price increases to the rate of inflation.

Senate Democrats had proposed requiring drug companies to refund rebates to the government if their prices rose faster than inflation, both in Medicare and the private health insurance market.

The MP allowed the provision to remain in Medicare, but struck it down for people with private health insurance, such as those who get coverage through their jobs, a sizable portion of the population.

Still, as expected, the MP allowed the Democrats’ signature drug pricing measure to pass, which would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for some drugs for the first time.

The MP was also allowed to support the Democrats’ clean energy tax package. Other parts of the package are still pending rulings, including a $35 cap on what patients must pay out of pocket for insulin.

“Democrats have received extremely good news: For the first time, Medicare can finally negotiate prescription drug prices, seniors get free vaccines and their costs are capped, and much more,” Senate Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) said in a statement. a statement. “This is a great victory for the American people. While there was an unfortunate statement that the inflation discount is more limited, the overall program remains intact and we are one step closer to finally taking on Big Pharma and lowering Rx drug prices for millions of Americans.

The provisions are assessed on whether they have a sufficiently substantial impact on the federal budget. The rules stem from the special procedure Democrats use on their package to avoid a GOP filibuster called budget reconciliation.

The end result is that the savings in the price of drugs that are included in the package are even more aimed at seniors on Medicare and largely do not affect those with private health insurance.

Leave a Comment