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U.S. Senator Sanders working to get prescription drug price provision in social spending bill

Stock MarketsOct 31, 2021 05:06PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to reporters after a meeting with White House officials at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo 2/2

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders was working on getting a provision to lower prescription drug prices into the $1.75 trillion social spending bill pending in the U.S. Congress before a vote by the House of Representatives, with President Joe Biden expressing optimism the bill will come up for a vote this week.

Biden was dealt a setback on Thursday as the House abandoned plans for a vote on an infrastructure bill before his departure to Europe for an international summit https://www.reuters.com/subjects/g20 with other world leaders, with progressive Democrats seeking more time to consider his call for a separate $1.75 trillion plan to address climate measures, preschool and other social initiatives.

A proposal that would allow the U.S. government's Medicare health plan for seniors to negotiate cheaper prices for prescription medicines was not included in the social spending bill.

"I spent all of yesterday on the telephone ... We are continuing that effort (to include the prescription drug price provision in the bill)," Sanders told CNN in an interview on Sunday.

"It is outrageous that we continue to pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," added Sanders, who has championed that cause for years.

In a press briefing in Rome on Sunday, the U.S. president, who left for Europe for the G20 summit as top Democrats raced to close a deal on his economic agenda, expressed optimism for an imminent vote on the social spending bill.

The so-called Build Back Better framework, Biden said, "God willing, (is) gonna be voted on as early as some time this coming week."

House Democrats have previously been signaling a vote could come as soon as Tuesday.

Biden had sought to unite his fellow Democrats behind the climate and social spending plan with personal appeals on Thursday, and had pressed for a Thursday vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, another main plank of his domestic agenda.

He hoped a framework on the larger measure would convince progressive House Democrats to support the infrastructure bill, but their insistence that the two move together led House leaders to abandon a planned vote.

The plan also did not include paid family leave or a tax on billionaires, with some constituencies angered by the absence of key Biden administration pledges from the bill.

The absence of paid family leave, Democrats have noted, left the United States as the only rich country and one of the few nations in the world that does not pay women during maternity leave.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg suggested on Sunday that the fight for paid family leave was not over.

"It's definitely something that we believe in, and so while it is not in this framework, we're gonna keep fighting for it," Buttigieg told ABC News in an interview.

U.S. Senator Sanders working to get prescription drug price provision in social spending bill
 

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Comments (6)
Privacy Please
WTIHedge Oct 31, 2021 8:11PM ET
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The fact that the US subsidizes prescription drugs for the rest of the world is outrageous. Its not even a dem v gop issue. It shows the power corporations have over American politicians. Whether its negotiations, or ensuring Americans pay the average of the rest of the world it needs to happen. If it does not at the very least Americans should be able to legally order their medicine from anywhere in the world.
Privacy Please
WTIHedge Oct 31, 2021 8:11PM ET
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Anyone against that is not an American or is paid or directly benefits from the drug price gouging
pcg upstate
pcg upstate Oct 31, 2021 7:59PM ET
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hope this traitor gets nothing
Lesko Brandon
Lesko Brandon Oct 31, 2021 6:16PM ET
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Prescription drug price does not go down, taxpayers just pick up the tab...with extra costs as it has to go through the government bureaucracy and into the pockets of people like Sanders.
Mart Bab
Rubberduck1973 Oct 31, 2021 5:44PM ET
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I am glad we don’t have this useless capitalism greediness in the EU. Drugs here are way overpriced, but still not close to what USA firms charge USA citizens. Here in Holland, hospitals got together with health ensurers and put together factories that make the drugs locally, that are sold locally and for normal prices. There was a news article explaining how USA drug companies were secretly trying to get all the money out of our health care systems by prizing much needed drugs 120% more than production costs. Go figure. Happy this greediness stays in the USA. Sorry for us citizens though. The are being ripped off by their fellow citizens
pcg upstate
pcg upstate Oct 31, 2021 5:44PM ET
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yes, both sides of the isle, dems and reps get paid off by drug companies to not pass bills to help consumers pay cheaper drug costs
Robert Alex
Robert Alex Oct 31, 2021 2:44PM ET
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I'd honestly like to know what the justification is that the medicare shouldn't be allowed to negotiate prices to be lower. Literally anyone who is against government waste or tax dollar exploitation should be in favor of negotiated prices.
Richard Saunders
Richard Saunders Oct 31, 2021 12:51PM ET
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"Progressive" Senator Sanders?? I think you spelled Communist wrong.
Empire Destroyer
Empire Destroyer Oct 31, 2021 12:51PM ET
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Profiteering Republicans... you spelt 1% who don't care about anyone except themselves wrong
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Oct 31, 2021 12:51PM ET
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so you like paying 50 to 100% more than what Canadians pay for the same exact products?
 
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