Biden takes aim at Big Pharma and California Republicans


IRVINE, California, Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden slammed Republicans and drug companies during a stop at a California community college as he campaigned for fellow Democrats in the midterm election. November term as his party attempted to maintain narrow margins in Congress.

The trip includes stops in California on Friday and Oregon on Saturday as Biden positions his party as a champion for consumers and lower health care costs at a time when inflation ranks among voters’ top concerns. The midterm elections will take place on November 8.

“We attacked Big Pharma and we ultimately beat them,” Biden said, referring to provisions of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices; caps the fees seniors will pay for prescriptions; and lowers insulin prescriptions to $35 for Medicare beneficiaries.

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Biden has promised to cap the price of insulin at $35 for all Americans if Democrats keep the House and Senate. Most forecasts show Democrats with a slight advantage in the Senate and Republicans with a bigger advantage in the House.

Biden alleged that Republicans would repeal prescription drug price caps and strip Medicare of the ability to negotiate drug prices if they took control.

Biden was introduced by Rep. Katie Porter, who questioned bank and drug company executives about their profits in widely watched congressional hearings.

“Here is the stone cold truth. Corporate greed compounds health problems, rips off taxpayers and threatens our capitalist economy,” Porter said, alleging the pharmaceutical industry is crushing competition and price transparency.

Biden on Friday signed an order requiring the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explain within 90 days how he will use new care and payment models to reduce drug costs.

Thursday’s data showed US consumer prices jumped 8.2% in the 12 months to September, after peaking at more than 9% in the summer and rising at their fastest pace since 1981. Health care costs were partly to blame in the most recent month, along with food and rental.

“Americans are squeezed by the cost of living – it’s been true for years and it’s one of the main reasons the president ran,” the White House said in a backgrounder. accusing pharmaceutical companies of raising prices. “Health care costs in particular are driving inflation.”

HHS has been empowered to promote new approaches to reducing costs and expanding care through an Innovation Center, created by a 2010 health care reform law known as Obamacare and housed in the Medicare and Medicaid service centers.

In August, Biden signed the $430 Billion Inflation Cut Act. Read more

Some 65 million Americans are enrolled in health insurance programs, which have been repeatedly criticized for their cost to taxpayers.

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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason; Editing by Robert Birsel, Heather Timmons and David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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