Biden to propose expansion of Medicare drug negotiation program

Medicare Price Negotiations Expansion

President Biden’s Proposal to Expand Medicare Price Negotiations

President Joe Biden is set to address Congress in his State of the Union speech, urging them to widen the scope of drugs subject to annual Medicare price negotiations. This initiative aims to leverage Medicare’s influential position to secure lower prices for costly medications consumed by individuals aged 65 and above.

Proposed Increase in Negotiated Drug Numbers

The negotiation scheme, established under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, currently plans to include 10 to 20 drugs annually until 2029. However, Biden intends to propose a significant boost to this figure, aiming for Medicare to negotiate prices for a minimum of 50 drugs each year.

Expansion of Healthcare Benefits

President Biden’s overarching goal is to reduce healthcare expenses, a key agenda in his 2024 reelection campaign. Apart from advocating for an extension of the $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs in Medicare to encompass all private insurance, he also seeks to enforce rebates for pharmaceutical companies that raise drug prices above inflation rates, extending this rule to commercial drug sales.

Furthermore, Biden is pushing for a cap of $2 on out-of-pocket expenses for common generic drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

Challenges and Legal Battles

Although Biden had previously called for similar actions, the Inflation Reduction Act faced resistance in Congress last year. Any amendments to the Act, which was passed without bipartisan support, would require approval from a divided legislature.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers and industry bodies have contested the negotiation program through legal challenges, arguing against perceived infringements on their property rights. Despite this, courts have upheld the law on three separate occasions.


President Biden’s upcoming address to Congress is expected to emphasize the importance of expanding Medicare’s negotiating powers to drive down drug prices and enhance healthcare benefits for Americans. The proposed changes aim to address the escalating costs of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, making essential treatments more accessible and affordable for all.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-03-06 20:06:21

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