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Congressional Scorekeeper Confirms Democrats’ Reconciliation Bill Raises Drug Prices

August 04, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite Democrats’ claims that their latest budget reconciliation bill will lower prices for families, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today confirmed that the Democrats’ proposed prescription drug price controls will cause prices for new drugs to be more expensive, in response to a request by House Ways and Means Committee Republican Leader Kevin Brady (TX-08), House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08), and House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05).

These higher launch prices for prescription drugs will increase costs at the pharmacy counter and raise insurance premiums, pushing new cures out of reach for most American patients except the wealthiest. In essence, the Democrats’ price control plan will limit cures to only the wealthiest of Americans.

Moreover, the Washington Democrat price controls will disincentivize generic drug competition, a proven method of reducing drug prices. To further pull back the curtain on this misguided policy, CBO’s response also revealed an additional $40 billion in increased Medicare Part D costs will be shifted onto the backs of American taxpayers.

“CBO confirms that the Manchin-Biden Build Back Better bill will drive up drug prices at a time when American families are already paying $6,000 more for the same goods they bought last year,” said Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady. “Worse, these price controls will only hurt the development of future cures for ALS, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases, destroy the development of generic medicines that keep prices low, and cede innovation to China.”

“President Biden’s inflation crisis is destroying family budgets and forcing some to choose between groceries and life-saving medication. Now, Washington Democrats’ want to add to that pain with a plan to further fuel inflation through more spending, more debt, and higher prices for American patients. The CBO has confirmed that if Democrats enact their prescription drug price control scheme, we will see higher costs for future cures, less generic competition, and higher costs to taxpayers, where only the wealthiest Americans are able to afford new cures,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith. “For Americans who are already sick and tired of paying President Biden’s inflation tax, another reckless scheme by Democrats’ that will raise prices for those who can least afford it, is the wrong medicine at the wrong time.”

“The Democrats’ socialist price controls will destroy hope for patients in need of cures and lifesaving treatments. CBO has repeatedly confirmed this terrifying prospect and they just confirmed that the latest version of Speaker Pelosi’s price controls will raise costs for future drugs,” said Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “We have long warned that politicizing seniors’ access to drugs by putting the public health bureaucracy – led by HHS Secretary Becerra – in charge of “negotiating” drug prices will result in drug makers raising prices and investments in biomedical innovation leaving America altogether. Fewer, more expensive prescription drugs and more dependency on Chinese supply chains, that’s what the Democrats are putting forward at a time when the American people are suffering enough under Biden’s inflation and economic crises. Rather than double-down on schemes that will hurt people’s quality of life, Democrats should be working with us on the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which has strong bipartisan provisions to make prescriptions more affordable and continue America’s leadership in medical innovation.”

Key Points: Democrats’ Inflation Act