Bitter pill to swallow: Manchin and Sinema split over prescription drug pricing

Sset Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) split over prescription drug prices on Friday after the West Virginia senator berated his centrist ally for slowing Democratic progress in lowering the cost pharmaceuticals.

Manchin noted that a $35 cap on prescription drug prices was removed from the Curbing Inflation Act, a major climate bill he helped champion in the Senate last month. last. Although Republicans removed the proposal from the final cut, Manchin claimed that Sinema was also to blame.

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“We had a senator from Arizona who basically didn’t let us go as far as we needed to go in our negotiations and made us wait two years,” Manchin told a panel discussion, according at Business Insider. “That stuff…I’m not questioning anyone. Everyone responds to their own constituent base. But we got something.”

A spokesperson for Manchin later claimed the senator misspoke, according to the outlet.

Sinema responded to Manchin’s blow on Friday afternoon, highlighting previous sound Support to reduce Medicare drug prices. Sinema has advocated for more modest reforms to prescription drug price regulation, publicly opposing a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act that would have hurt private equity. Senate Democrats agreed to drop that proposal in exchange for Sinema’s vote, which was crucial given a 50-50 split in the Senate.

Both senators have come under fire from their Democratic peers for their willingness to block President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better program last year. However, Manchin accepted a slimmed down version of the bill. last month after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to focus the bill more on fighting inflation and cutting the U.S. deficit.

“The BBB was killed, and then we were basically in limbo until April,” Manchin said. “It started in April, to the point where inflation was killing us all – every person, man, woman and child in America. And we have to.”

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The new law, which Biden signed on Tuesday after Manchin and Sinema pledged their support, allowed Medicare to negotiate the cost of 10 drugs in 2026. The move marks the first time the federal program can negotiate prices with Pharmaceutical industry. .

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