December 21, 2021

Senate Republicans and Chamber of Commerce Double Down on Opposition to the Build Back Better Act

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (NY) said that a Senate vote on the Build Back Better Act will not happen this year.

The House-passed version of Build Back Better would provide guaranteed hearing care for all Medicare beneficiaries, and provide coverage for all vaccines, such as the shingles vaccine. It would also limit drug price increases; allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for some drugs, and cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 a year for Medicare beneficiaries.

Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) told Politico this week that Republicans are challenging President Biden’s plan to cap insulin costs at $35 a month. Senate Republicans are looking into a procedural move to prevent the insulin cap from applying to Americans with private insurance plans, even if it means that some patients will go without relief. Diabetes patients currently pay anywhere from $375 to $1,000 per month for the drug.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is readying a multi-pronged campaign aimed at pressuring several Democratic Senators to reject the legislation altogether. Their campaign, which includes TV, print and radio ads as well as tele-town halls, is aimed at Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Mark Kelly (AZ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (NV).

“We shouldn’t be surprised that big corporations are doing everything they can to block this legislation that would help millions of American families,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “But it’s worth fighting for, and Alliance members will redouble our efforts to get this package over the finish line.”

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