In truth, the drug pricing provision—which might enable Medicare to barter decrease prescription drug costs—seems to be wildly standard amongst a quantity Home Democrats who’re really going through stiff reelection odds, because the HuffPost reporter Kevin Robillard wrote in July.
“The primary problem I hear about in my district is the price of prescribed drugs,” mentioned Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, who spearheaded a letter over the summer season urging Democratic management to undertake the drug pricing measure.
Altogether, 15 Democrats signed onto Wild’s letter—all of them a part of the DCCC’s front-line program.
So whereas Democratic members in states like Kansas, Iowa, and Georgia try to do proper by their constituents in a battle for the political lives, those that hail from secure seats in states like New York and California try to doom one of many centerpieces of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Permitting Medicare to barter drug costs polls higher than maybe another single provision in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion finances invoice. A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll in Might discovered that “almost 9 in ten (88%) favor permitting the federal authorities to barter for decrease costs on medicines, together with three-fourths (77%) of Republicans, 9 in ten independents (89%) and 96% of Democrats.” The measure can be anticipated to save lots of the federal authorities some $500 billion (give or take) over the course of a decade—financial savings that may then be used to develop the umbrella of Medicare protection to incorporate dental, imaginative and prescient, and listening to advantages.
So what offers with these conserva-Dems? Cash. Large Pharma is dispensing massive cash to Democrats who voted in opposition to the supply. As HuffPost’s Daniel Marans notes:
- Murphy is the second-highest recipient of Large Pharma PAC cash in Congress up to now this cycle at $54,000 and obtained $117,500 from these PACs within the 2020 cycle.
- Peters, the third-highest recipient of Large Pharma PAC cash in Congress this cycle at $55,800, obtained $209,300 from these PACs within the 2020 cycle.
- Schrader, the 21st-highest recipient of Large Pharma PAC cash this cycle at $24,000, obtained $142,000 from these PACs within the 2020 cycle.
Rice’s Large Pharma PAC haul is not almost as eye-popping at $3,000 up to now this cycle and $5,500 final cycle. However Rep. Lou Correa of California, who has additionally made noise about opposing the measure, has taken in $14,500 from Big Pharma PACs this cycle and banked $75,000 last cycle.
The workplace of Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi was fast to answer the initiatives failure to achieve approval within the Vitality and Commerce Committee.
“Polling constantly exhibits immense bipartisan help for Democrats’ drug value negotiation laws, together with overwhelming majorities of Republicans and independents who’re fed up with Large Pharma charging People a lot greater than they cost for a similar medicines abroad,” mentioned spokesperson Henry Connelly, promising that the initiative would “stay a cornerstone” of the Construct Again Higher Act.
Shortly after that assertion, the Methods and Means panel permitted nearly an identical drug pricing language.
The foremost hurdle, nevertheless, is that Pelosi cannot afford to lose greater than three Democrats on the $3.5 trillion finances invoice general. Murphy reportedly expressed optimism about nonetheless supporting the broader package deal, however “no” votes from Peters, Schafer, and Rice would imperil the whole invoice.
These members have additionally introduced themselves as individuals who could invite a main sooner or later, significantly in the event that they vote in opposition to general passage.
“There’s loads of Democrats in deep blue seats who by no means get severely challenged about how such massive sums of company donations could affect their coverage positions,” mentioned Waleed Shahid, a spokesperson for Justice Democrats, which works to unseat conserva-Dems in secure seats.