US President Joe Biden speaks about lowering healthcare costs, within the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 29, 2023.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is placing a priority on reducing individual health-care costs as he seeks reelection in a rustic where medical spending accounts for 18.3% of the nation’s gross domestic product, in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Boy, we have been fighting Big Pharma for a very long time,” Biden said Tuesday from the White House. “I promise you I’m gonna have your back and I’ll never stop fighting for you on this issue, nor will Kamala.”
On Tuesday, the White House announced ten pharmaceuticals that will probably be subject to the first-ever Medicare price negotiations, which is able to go into effect in 2026. The ten medicines accounted for $50.5 billion, or about 20%, of total Part D prescription drug costs from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023, in accordance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Big Pharma [is] charging Americans greater than thrice what they charge other countries just because they’ll,” Biden said. “I believe it’s outrageous. That is why these negotiations matter.”
Biden’s challenge over the following 14 months will probably be to persuade voters that he’s lowering on a regular basis costs for them despite high rates of interest and inflation that has not yet fallen back to pre-pandemic levels.
This task is complicated by the indisputable fact that a lot of Biden’s legislative and policy accomplishments will take years to implement, in order that they haven’t got a direct, tangible impact on people’s lives. Nonetheless, Democrats argue the president needs to be given a second term to, in Biden’s words, “finish the job.”
Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said the news was “what delivering results looks like,” but warned it might be undone if Biden is not re-elected.
“That progress is all on the road in 2024,” Chavez Rodriguez said in an announcement. “The alternative on this election is between a president focused on you, and a slate of candidates focused on extreme policies that put their wealthy donors first.”
The message coming out of the White House Tuesday was that, due to Biden, Americans will now not need to pay the best prices on the planet for medicines.
“Big Pharma and their Republican allies in Congress finally lost – to Joe Biden and Bidenomics,” Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a memo.
The careful staging of Tuesday’s Medicare announcement, complete with side events and media briefings, underscores how essential health care is to Biden’s reelection campaign, which is already well underway.
Biden’s signature domestic laws, 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act, capped out-of-pocket insulin spending at $35 per thirty days for people on Medicare, and individual out-of-pocket spending on pharmaceuticals at $2,000 annually. Moreover, the administration cut costs for hearing aids by making them available over-the-counter and cut the price of insurance through the Reasonably priced Care Act via tax subsidies.
It’s all a part of Biden’s emphasis on addressing so-called “kitchen table” issues that resonate with swing voters in battleground states.
Up next, the president has said he plans to expand the insulin cost cap to cover privately insured Americans and make the ACA tax subsidies everlasting.
“We’ll see this through,” Biden said. “We’ll keep standing as much as Big Pharma and we’re not going to back down.”