(AP) — Negotiating Medicare drug prices is a linchpin of President Joe Biden’s ambitious health care agenda. But Congress barred the program from negotiating with drugmakers when it created the prescription benefit. That was nearly 20 years ago, and medicines costing $100,000 a year were rare.
Now Biden and congressional Democrats want to create an exception for the most expensive drugs without generic competition, and for insulins. Democrats hope to use billions in expected savings for other health care priorities.
Drugmakers oppose the proposal, saying government price setting would stifle innovation. And similar to other parts of Biden’s agenda, a few Democrats have qualms about Medicare negotiations.