Dems close in on Medicare prescription drug negotiation compromise

“Much progress has been made on a compromise agreement on prescription drugs that would require some negotiation,” said a source familiar with the talks. There is “optimism that something can be added before the House of Representatives votes” on Biden’s package earlier this week.

Pallone and Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) Discussed the Thing on late Thursday. According to several sources, these conversations continued over the weekend with direct knowledge of the conversation. Sinema spoke to spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi about the issue this weekend, and the White House is also involved.

The latest draft of the effort includes a Medicare Part D redesign, drug negotiations, and discounts, said a source with direct knowledge of the effort. It’s not as extensive as the company’s groundbreaking “HR 3” Drugs Act, but it’s based on the same parameters.

No deal was final on Sunday morning, but there was some hope in the party of closing one within the next 24-48 hours. In a CNN interview on Sunday, Sanders said he spent all of Saturday working on the subject and “as soon as I leave the studio, I’ll go home to make a call to make sure we have it. “

Biden previously signed a more limited deal with Sinema and MP Scott Peters (D-Calif.) That House Democrats opposed in hopes of making the policy more expansive and applying it to more drugs. House Democrats insist Pallone never gave up negotiations, even after Sinema and Peters struck a deal with Biden that failed to achieve its goals.

Still, most Democrats find it not tempting not to add anything to what is probably the only way to become law. In addition, cutting an agreement would bring new revenue for the legislature, potentially helping to pay for more programs or keeping them running longer.

Pallone was optimistic on Thursday: “I think we are close to a deal. We’re going to get a bill that has prices negotiated and that will make a difference in people being able to afford their medication. ”And Peters said that Pallone“ has come a long way in politics ”but said, that their efforts did not yet have 50 votes in the Senate.

But if the Democrats are able to reintroduce a drug plan, lawmakers and aides say it will move closer to the much narrower and more industry-friendly version proposed by the House and Senate centrists and approved by the White House, than the aggressive plan that has already been adopted House twice. Although the goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to prevent any price negotiations with the government, limiting negotiations to a narrow subset of drugs and relying more on measures such as caps that do not affect the bottom line of companies would be a victory in itself .

Several progressives and frontliners said they would rather take drug pricing out of the package altogether rather than adopt what they consider weak version that weakens motivation for future action. Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) Said, “In my opinion it’s the Peters version or worse when it comes back in. I’m pretty upset about it. It’s just terrible. “

In addition to relieving state and local taxes, prescription drug reform remains the most likely addition to Biden’s initial framework, which spends hundreds of billions on climate protection, universal pre-K, child tax credits, and home care. Sanders wants his Medicare expansion to cover more than just hearing about the current plan as other Democrats try to add new tax policy, paid vacation, and immigration reform to the package.

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