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July 04, 2022

Senate Democrats Working to Pass Legislation to Lower Drug Prices in July

The Washington Post and other media outlets reported Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (WV) have been negotiating a plan to lower drug prices, including requiring Medicare to negotiate lower prices directly with pharmaceutical corporations. A spokesperson for Sen. Manchin claimed Thursday that the plan has the support of all 50 Democrats.

The Schumer-Manchin proposal reportedly includes mandating that the Secretary of Health and Human Services negotiate prices beginning in 2023, making vaccines free to Medicare patients, limiting Medicare premium increases, and capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients at $2,000 per year.

The draft legislation still needs to be reviewed by the Senate Parliamentarian to determine if it can be passed through the budget reconciliation process with a simple majority vote.

“We are encouraged that Senate leaders have not stopped working on legislation to lower drug prices,” said Rich Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “There is no more urgent issue facing retirees. High drug prices hurt patients who have to choose between putting food on the table or taking the medicine they need to stay healthy. It’s time for Congress to finally put patients ahead of drug industry profits.”

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