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Biden warns GOP will take away government's power to negotiate Medicare drug prices

President Biden on Friday warned that Republicans will take away the power that Democrats gave to Medicare to negotiate drug prices if they win control of Congress in the midterm elections next month.

“If Republicans in Congress have their way, it’s going to mean the power we just gave Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and other costs over time goes away. Gone,” Biden said in remarks in Irvine, Calif.

Some Republicans, including Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, have indicated their party would work to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act if they win the majority. Brady is retiring at the end of this Congress.

The bill is the Democrats’ sweeping climate and tax plan that allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time and placed caps on the cost of insulin under Medicare and drug costs for seniors on Medicare.

Biden, in his remarks, said the $2,000 cap on prescription drugs, the $35 a month cap on insulin for Medicare, and savings from health care premiums for Americans would all be gone under a Republican majority.

“When it actually comes time to do something about inflation around the kitchen table, Republicans in Congress are saying no,” he said.

He outlined other moves Democrats have taken towards saving Americans health care costs, including an executive order he signed on Friday to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to examine how it can use its Innovation Center to lower drug costs.

“I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat, or a Republican, or an Independent, the idea of people who charge 30, 40, 50, 60 times what it costs to make a drug, it just makes no sense when there’s no alternative,” Biden said. “It’s not like you raise a price of a Chevy ten times, you can’t go buy a Ford.”

The president on Thursday in Los Angeles argued that inflation will get worse if Republicans win control of Congress, saying that Democrats are standing up for working people.

Biden was joined by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) for his remarks in Irvine on Friday.

Porter is in a competitive race that the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates as leaning toward Democrats.

Biden praised the congresswoman for her work in Congress. Porter has pushed back on the pharmaceutical industry for drug prices throughout her time in Congress.

“She is incredible in what she does,” Biden said on Friday.

Source: The Hill

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