WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators dealt a blow to the Democratic Party’s plan to curb drug prices on Saturday, leaving the rest of the chaos behind as party leaders prepared for the first ballot of a package that included many of President Joe Biden’s top domestic leaders. The economic bill was largely left intact. Target.
Elizabeth McDonough, the chamber’s bipartisan rules arbiter, said lawmakers must remove language that imposes hefty penalties on pharmaceutical companies that push prices above inflation in the private insurance market. Stated. These were the main price protections in the bill, where about 180 million people get health insurance through their jobs or from private insurance they buy themselves.
Other key provisions were left intact, including empowering Medicare to negotiate how much to pay 64 million elderly beneficiaries for medicines. This is a long-standing goal of the Democratic Party. Drugs sold to Medicare are subject to over-inflation manufacturer penalties, and there is a $2,000 annual co-payment cap on drug costs and free vaccines for Medicare beneficiaries.
Her decision comes at a time when Democrats were planning to open Senate votes on Saturday on a broad package that addresses climate change, energy, health care costs, taxes and even deficit reduction. The department said it believed it had the unity needed to pass the bill in a 50-50 Senate vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote and firm opposition from Republicans.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) said of the bill, “This is a big win for the American people.” decades. “And it’s a sad comment, because Republicans are actively opposed to clauses that would lower family costs in America.”
In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats were “misinterpreting the outrage of the American people as reckless taxation and orders to increase spending even more.” He said Democrats “already deprived American families through inflation, but now their solution is to deprive American families again.”
Eliminating penalties for pharmaceutical companies would reduce the incentive for pharmaceutical companies to keep what they charge and increase costs for patients.
Eliminating that language would cut $288 billion in the estimated 10-year savings that Democrats’ overall drug control would generate, possibly tens of billions more, analysts say.
Schumer said McDonough’s decision on private insurance price caps was “one of regret.” But he said the surviving drug pricing language represented “a big win for the American people” and that the bill as a whole was “mostly intact.”
The ruling followed a 10-day period that saw Democrats revive the top building blocks of Biden’s agenda that seemed dead.In a quick deal with his two most unpredictable senators of the Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the first conservativethen the centrist Kirsten Cinema in Arizona — Schumer has put together a broad package that some of the earlier, larger versions Manchin derailed will pay off for the party against the backdrop of this fall’s parliamentary elections.
Lawmakers also approved charges for excessive emissions of methane, a strong contributor to greenhouse gases, from oil and gas drilling.She also launched environmental grants to minority communities and other initiatives to reduce carbon emissionsSenate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Thomas Carper, D-Del.
She approved a clause requiring union-wide wages if energy efficiency projects qualify for tax credits, and a clause limiting electric vehicle tax credits to U.S.-assembled cars and trucks. did.
The overall bill faces unanimous Republican opposition. But assuming the Democrats fight off the constant amendment “vote llamas,” many of which were designed to derail the bill by the Republican Party, they should be able to push the bill through the Senate.
House passage could come when the floor briefly returns from Friday’s break.
“What will the Lama vote look like? said that Manchin and Cinema’s backing of Democratic bills would “make the average person’s life more difficult by raising taxes, driving up energy costs and making it harder for businesses to hire workers.” It gives power to the law,” he said.
The bill provides spending and tax incentives to transition to cleaner fuels and help reduce carbon emissions to support coal. Expiring subsidies to help millions of people pay for private insurance have been extended for three years, and he will provide $4 billion to help Western countries combat drought. will be
A new minimum tax rate of 15% will be imposed on some businesses with annual revenues of $1 billion or more, but paying far less than the current 21% corporate tax. . Companies that buy back swapped-in shares will also be subject to a 1% tax after Cinema refused to support higher taxes on private equity firm executives and hedge fund managers. The IRS budget will be increased to strengthen tax collection.
The final cost of the bill has yet to be determined, but it would collectively cost more than $300 billion over a decade to slow climate change, making it the country’s largest investment in that effort, according to analysts. and billions more will be spent on healthcare. This means he has raised over $700 billion from tax and government drug savings, leaving about $300 billion for deficit reduction.
Democrats use a special procedure that allows bills to pass without reaching the often required 60-vote majority in the Senate.
Rather than impose new policies, it is the That’s the job of a member of parliament.
Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.