Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday that Democrats have reached a deal concerning the lowering of prescription drug prices.
According to The Hill, this agreement is part of President Joe Biden’s social spending bill and it will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with large pharmaceutical companies capping out-of-pocket spending at $2,000.
“It’s not everything we all wanted. Many of us would have wanted to go much further, but it’s a big step in helping the American people deal with the price of drugs,” Schumer said in a press briefing.
One of the moderate holdouts, Sen. Kirsten Sinema of Arizona, announced she supported this scaled-back compromise.
“The Senator welcomes a new agreement on a historic, transformative Medicare drug negotiation plan that will reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors – ensuring drug prices cannot rise faster than inflation – save taxpayer dollars, and protect innovation to ensure Arizonans and Americans continue to have access to life-saving medications, and new cures and therapeutics,” Sinema’s staff said in a statement.
The bill scaled-back original plans to give Medicare more bargaining power concerning older drugs that are no longer protected by competition. However, this compromise limits Medicare to negotiating drug prices with newer, name brand drugs that tend to be more expensive.
Both Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer hope to schedule a vote on the spending bill later this week.