House panel rejects drug price control bill in stunning blow to Pelosi

DCNFThomas Catenacci, DCNF

  • The House Committee on Energy and Commerce rejected a key drug control bill in a stunning rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership.
  • “For many years now, I’ve been committed to addressing drug prices in a meaningful way,” Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader, who voted against the bill, said during the hearing. “Americans, regardless of political affiliation, have made it clear Congress has to actually act and get something done.”
  • The legislation would have allowed Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies and created a $2,000 limit on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare recipients, according to Politico.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce rejected a key drug pricing control bill in a stunning rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership.

Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader, Scott Peters and Kathleen Rice voted alongside their Republican colleagues on the panel, creating a 29-29 tie on the vote to pass the legislation during a committee hearing Wednesday. The hearing was held to mark up parts of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, the Build Back Better Act.

“For many years now, I’ve been committed to addressing drug prices in a meaningful way,” Schrader said during the markup. “Americans, regardless of political affiliation, have made it clear Congress has to actually act and get something done.”

The Oregon representative added that the committee should focus on bipartisan solutions to high drug prices. He also listed several provisions — including one that requires pharmaceutical companies to adjust prices based on an international index — in the bill, which he said would stifle innovation.

In addition to implementing the international index, the legislation would have allowed Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies and created a $2,000 limit on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare recipients, according to Politico.

“America will not win the future, if Speaker Pelosi’s socialist price controls were jammed in the Democrat’s reckless tax and spending spree,” Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers said in a statement following the vote. “It would lead to less innovation, fewer cures, and no hope for many people who deserve a fighting chance at life.”

Both Pelosi and President Joe Biden had pushed heavily for the bill’s passage in recent months.

“Why should we be paying two or three times what every other country in the world is paying for a similar drug? There’s so much we can do,” the president said during remarks on Aug. 12 at the White House.

Pelosi said the legislation was “bold action” to level the playing field for Americans.

“Polling consistently shows immense bipartisan support for Democrats’ drug price negotiation legislation, including overwhelming majorities of Republicans and independents who are fed up with Big Pharma charging Americans so much more than they charge for the same medicines overseas,” Henry Connelly, a spokesperson for Pelosi, said in a statement Wednesday.

“Delivering lower drug costs is a top priority of the American people and will remain a cornerstone of the Build Back Better Act as work continues between the House, Senate and White House on the final bill,” he added.

Patrick Gaspard, CEO of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, said the three Democratic defectors were “prioritizing drug company profits over lower drug prices for the American people.”

Schrader, Peters and Rice have received a combined $2 million in campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, according to Sawyer Hackett, executive director of the progressive political action committee People First Future.

PhRMA, a powerful group that represents pharmaceutical interests on Capitol Hill, had lobbied heavily against the legislation. The bill would harm the ability for U.S. companies to innovate if it was approved, the group said in an open letter to Congress on Wednesday.

For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected]

DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW

Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.

Comment

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles