November 01, 2021
President Biden Unveils Framework for Build Back Better Bill
On Thursday, President Biden travelled to the Capitol to present a new outline of a framework of a broad legislative package that will provide support to millions of American families. Congress and the White House have spent weeks hammering out a deal. Congressional leaders say that further changes will be made to the package before it is voted on by the full House and Senate.
The plan expands Medicare to include guaranteed hearing benefits; will enable 4 million people in states that have not implemented the ACA to purchase affordable health insurance; and provides funding to allow more people to receive long-term care services at home rather than an institution as well as support for caregivers.
The framework does not include President Biden’s plan to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, which has encountered staunch opposition from a handful of Democratic members in the House and Senate. PhRMA, the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying arm, has spent at least $30 million in lobbying, political contributions, and advertising this year to protect its monopoly power to set prices.
However, key members of the House of Representatives are still working to include drug price negotiation and other measures to lower the amount that seniors and consumers pay at the pharmacy counter in the final bill.
“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and our poll found that 85% of voters over the age of 65 want Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “Congress must find a way to include Medicare drug price negotiation or other measures that will lower drug prices in the final bill.”