Biden Rails Against Drug Companies, Republicans While Signing Inflation Reduction Act
President Joe Biden made a scathing attack of big drug manufacturers and Republican lawmakers for fighting tooth and nail to scuttle the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to defeat this bill. And remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against this bill,” Biden said while delivering remarks ahead of signing the sweeping $739 billion Bill into law.
“Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering healthcare costs, against a fairer tax system. Every single Republican voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good-paying jobs,” he said at the signing ceremony held at State Dining Room Tuesday.
“In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote — every single one,” he added.
The long fought political war between the Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the provisions of the key legislation finally culminated in members of both chambers of the Congress voting in party lines, and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie in the Senate to ensure passage of the Bill.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is projected to cut the deficit by about $100 billion over the next decade, help lower the cost of health care, combat the climate crisis and ensure that the biggest corporations and the wealthiest few pay their fair share of taxes.
The legislation includes a proposal that would allow the government to negotiate prices for select prescription medicines.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said the new law will lead to fewer new treatments and doesn’t do nearly enough to address the real affordability problems facing patients at the pharmacy.
PhRMA and closely allied groups have spent millions of dollars on publicity ads opposing price negotiations, according to the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs. PhRMA reportedly spent more than $100 million for lobbying on Capitol Hill and federal agencies.
Americans pay four times for drugs that are manufactured in the U.S. when compared to the cost of the same drug in European countries.
“With the Inflation Reduction Act as law of the land, we will reduce drug costs for the more than 63 million people across the country with Medicare, and 13 million people covered under the Affordable Care Act will save $800 per year on their health insurance,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
He said HHS is prepared to implement the Medicare drug negotiation and Part D redesign provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. “We are working closely with Congress to make sure that the task before us will be done to the highest standard, with all the necessary resources and expertise in place,” he added.
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