President Biden’s budget proposal is predominantly focused on expanding healthcare access and reducing the cost of prescription medication. The budget is aimed to extend Medicare’s hospital trust fund solvency, while also adding to the list of drugs with prices that can be negotiated. The negotiations for the prices of the medication are expected to start soon.
The plan in many ways is a continuation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is what originally granted Medicare the right to negotiate the prices of up to 20 drugs annually. However, the drugs whose prices could be negotiated needed to be in the market for more than 9 years.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed through Congress last year without any support from the GOP. Republicans have claimed that they would be attempting to repeal it now that they have control of the House.
The IRA also included a provision that would allow a further increase in the budget, as drug companies would be required to pay rebates to Medicare when the prices of drugs increased faster than the rate of inflation, this would be extended to the commercial market.
The budget is also going to be extending the $35 insulin cap to the private sector.
The budget is also focused on expanding Medicare, which under the IRA provides beneficiaries with access to insulin at the $35 cap. An attempt to have this expanded to all Americans was shut down by Republicans.