Biden Explains How His Build Back Better Plan Will Reduce Prescription Drug Costs For Patients
Biden accuses drug companies of inflating prescription drug prices as he urges Senate to approve Build Back Better plan and cut costs for patients
- President Biden touts lower drug prices as he again calls on Senate Monday to approve his Build Back Better plan Monday
- He said Americans paid 10 times more for insulin than in other countries
- The prices were about “companies looking to maximize profits,” he said
- Legislation would limit insulin payments to $35 a month
- Biden’s speech marked an attempt to shift the debate from the nearly $2 trillion cost of the plans to the kind of wallet problems that directly affect voters
President Joe Biden on Monday accused drug companies of inflating the cost of prescription drugs, while praising the Build Back Better Act’s provisions to lower prices and calling on the Senate to pass the legislation.
If passed, it would impose penalties on drug companies that raise prices faster than inflation and limit insulin prices to $35 a month.
“One study found that Americans paid ten times as much as other countries for insulin,” Biden said during a speech in the White House East Room.
“These price hikes are about companies trying to maximize profits and no one standing up for the patients.”
The second part of Biden’s domestic agenda is currently stalled, awaiting passage through the Senate, where two tenacious Democrats have managed to strip hundreds of billions of dollars in spending.
That still leaves about $1.85 trillion in proposals, largely focused on green energy and social spending.
His comments were part of an effort to shift public debate to the kind of wallet issues that concern voters rather than the big, headline numbers.
After giving his speech, Biden was asked if it would meet Democrats’ original Christmas goal.
President Biden said his Build Back Better plan would lower drug prices as he again called on the Senate to approve his massive spending bill in the face of centrist opposition
Iesha Meza, who described how she was forced to ration her insulin with near-fatal consequences, leaving her in a coma
“As soon as we can get it,” he replied. “I’m willing to make it happen, however long it takes.”
Reducing drug prices is one of the most popular parts of the proposals, and a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 83 percent of respondents supported government efforts to lower costs for patients.
Biden used that to make another plea to push his plans through.
“To really solve this problem, we need the Senate to follow the example of the House of Representatives and pass my Build Back Better bill,” he said.
Before his speech, Biden met patients with diabetes who told him about their struggle to pay for insulin.
Among them Iesha Meza, who described how she was forced to ration her drugs with near-fatal consequences.
“I went into a diabetic coma and I could have died,” she said before introducing the president.
“This was a terrifying incident. I was ashamed that I couldn’t afford my life-saving medicines.’
Biden met diabetes patients at the White House before making comments in the East Room
Biden outlined how his legislation would help.
He said if passed, it would limit the cost of insulin to $35 a month for Medicare patients and anyone with private insurance.
“I have long said that healthcare should be a right and not a privilege in this country,” he said.
“And the women I’ve met today, the millions like her, are the reason why.
“People for whom the price of one drug is the difference between hope and fear, life and death, dignity and dependence.”
But drugmakers oppose the move, saying the proposal would hurt their ability to develop new drugs.
Stephen J. Ubl, president of The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said: “A harmful bill stalled by a partisan process will not provide meaningful relief to patients struggling to pay for their drugs.
“The bill puts the government’s crackdown on America’s medicine cabinet, and we know that when government bureaucrats set the price of drugs, patients end up having less access to treatments and cures.”