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Democrats lose key health agenda on appropriations bill

However, the plan currently penalizes pharmaceutical companies for rising costs faster than inflation of private insurance plans. We plan to move forward with no clauses to impose. Medicare too.

The elimination of price limits on private insurance means there is little left to cut costs for the vast majority of Americans who obtain health insurance through private sector employers. Democrats are still awaiting another Congressional decision on policies to keep insulin costs down both inside and outside of Medicare.

This decision would also cut federal savings by tens of billions of dollars across the bill. and a potential threat to Democrats' hopes to offset the cost of boosting Obamacare subsidies.

Still, Democrats are pushing for legislation in the coming weeks, leaving in place the most important provision to repeal a bill that has long barred the federal government from directly negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. claims to proceed with

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the lawmakers' ruling "good news" in a statement on Saturday.

"Medicare will finally be allowed to negotiate prices on prescription drugs, older people will get free vaccines, their costs will be limited, and much more." he said.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Baht) was the lead negotiator for the House version of the bill, and the provision "has been maintained by big pharma against drug negotiations." It will break the iron curtain," he said. Price, and that's a game-changer. Especially important for those who are hitting.

But Welch, who is running to replace outgoing Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Bartz), said the Congressman's decision was still a big win for the pharmaceutical industry.

"It essentially means that drug companies can raise prices well beyond inflation," he said in an interview days ahead of the vote. rice field.

Pharmaceutical companies and Senate Republicans have been planning to target inflation cap provisions for months — through a process known in the Capitol as the "bird bath." Senator Mike Crapo (Republican-Idaho) The Republican head of the Senate Finance Committee told reporters to bring all the bills "line by line". He said he had considered the bill. A challenge they could find.

The Democrats, who had pushed this policy for years, were confident it could pass under the Senate's strict reconciliation rules.Only proposals primarily related to federal spending or revenue would fly. But anything that makes major policy changes and has an "incidental" impact on the federal budget cannot fly. He argued that an inflation cap on drug prices was generally needed, and warned that failure to do so would mean drug companies could raise prices even further for those with private insurance. What they lose out of costs is what the bill still imposes on Medicare.

Sen. Chris Murphy It is the kind of argument that is persuasive to parliamentarians."

"You cannot separate the private sector from the public sector. One cannot function without the other," he said.

Proponents of the provision also point to a Congressional Budget Office study last year that stated that the inflation cap provision would cost the government about $80 billion over ten years. } should be allowed to remain on the bill, claiming it saves.

However, settlement experts and industry insiders were equally confident that the clause would be left out of the package.

Lobbyist Stephen Northrup said: Many believe that if something gets a significant CBO score, it is not considered accidental. "If the inflation cap were limited to Medicare, we could draw a very direct relationship between policy and scores. But when we extended it to the commercial market, the relationship was It looks less like an attempt to save money and more to extend a policy of influence beyond the federal budget.”

While it doesn't have a backup plan, some proponents are now trying to apply inflation caps to other federal insurance programs, such as Medicaid and insurance for federal employees.

Even if it did, the progressives who initially pushed for far more drastic drug price controls have seen their already watered-down plans further undermined over the past year.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said what would happen to the creation of a drug pricing language and the scramble for the votes to pass it. Months also worked, accusing the pharmaceutical industry of influencing the Capitol. for the demise of the inflation cap provision.

"Special interest groups are always preventing us from helping hard-hit Americans, especially the elderly," he told his POLITICO ahead of the congressman's ruling. . "So it's amazing that special interest groups are trying to protect their interests."