Health

Bipartisan Proposal May Reduce Senior Drug Prices

The Senate Finance Committee faces opposition from the pharmaceutical industry after releasing a bipartisan drug-pricing proposal on Tuesday that could potentially cap seniors’ out-of-pocket costs and limit price increases in Medicare.

The White House endorsed the proposal and said it would build support among senators. President Trump has made lowering drug prices a top priority headed into his 2020 reelection campaign and is eager to strike a deal with Congress that he can promote on the campaign trail.

The proposition, constructed by committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D), would make changes to Medicare and Medicaid and is projected to save the government about $100 billion over a 10-year span according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Within that time period, seniors could possibly save $27 billion in out-of-pocket costs and $5 billion from slightly lower premiums, according to the CBO.

The CBO also said the Grassley-Wyden proposal would lower prescription drug costs in the commercial market. Health insurers support the proposal, but it faces an uphill battle with opposition from drug makers and powerful conservative groups as it is scheduled for a committee markup on Thursday.

Compiled by Olivia Boyd, WI Intern

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