Biden To Focus On Drug Prices And Health Costs During State Of The Union

During Thursday night’s State of the Union address, President Biden will urge Congress to strengthen Medicare’s authority to negotiate drug prices and significantly broaden the range of eligible medications, according to the White House.

According to White House officials, President Biden is planning to expand the number of drugs that Medicare can negotiate prices for. Currently, under the existing law, Medicare can negotiate prices for 20 drugs. However, the proposal aims to increase this number to 50 and expedite the inclusion of more drugs into the program.

The Biden administration plans to expand the Medicare program by proposing the extension of its $2,000 yearly limit on out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs to individuals with private insurance. In addition, they aim to maintain the law’s penalty on pharmaceutical companies that increase drug prices at a rate higher than the inflation rate, according to officials.

Neera Tanden, White House domestic policy adviser, expressed her belief that what benefits seniors under the $2,000 cap would also benefit all Americans.

Biden is set to urge lawmakers to extend the $35-per-month cost cap for insulin to the commercial market. Despite the introduction of bipartisan Senate bills that aim to achieve this goal almost two years ago, they have yet to be brought to the floor for discussion.

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The Inflation Reduction Act could see significant growth with these proposals. Although the law had a broad reach, its most significant healthcare provisions were limited to Medicare, as Democrats had to make concessions to secure Senate approval.

The president is poised to present to Congress a set of policies that aim to remind voters of the administration’s efforts to reduce health costs. Although many of the significant achievements may not be implemented this year, the objective is to outline a roadmap for the next four years.

The administration is prioritizing financial concerns that directly impact families, with the goal of assisting them in managing their expenses. Additionally, they aim to connect healthcare policies with President Biden’s economic achievements.

However, it is important to note that these policies are more of a wish list and may not be realistically implemented, especially considering that Republicans currently hold control over the House of Representatives.

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