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Pelosi to introduce plan to lower cost of prescription drugs: report

Pelosi to introduce plan to lower cost of prescription drugs: report
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (D-Calif.) will reportedly introduce a plan on Thursday to lower the costs of 250 of the most expensive prescription drugs.

The proposal would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the prices of the 250 costliest drugs that lack at least two competitors, pegging their costs to the generally much lower costs in other countries, according to NPR.

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The proposal would also reportedly fine drugmakers that refuse to negotiate and impose upper limits on price increases. The planned release follows communication on the matter between the party’s left and centrist flanks.

"We appreciate that Speaker Pelosi took the time to meet with the Blue Dogs to discuss a path forward to lower the cost of prescription drugs," Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyRaising the required minimum distribution age for America's seniors Why it's time for a majority female Cabinet Democrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise MORE (Fla.), co-chair of the center-right Blue Dog Democrats, said after a meeting with Pelosi Tuesday on the proposal, NPR noted.

"Our constituents want to see solutions implemented today, and we hope House Republicans will join in coming forward with bold solutions to bring down drug costs and increase transparency surrounding drug pricing,” she added.

Coalition members, many of whom represent swing seats newly flipped in the 2018 midterms, are hopeful that action on drug prices can help illustrate that the Democratic House majority is focused on issues other than investigations of the White House and questions of impeachment, according to NPR.

"Members would like to be talking less about impeachment and more about an issue that their constituents are bringing up at every town hall back home," a source at the meeting told the network. “We’re eager to see the legislation itself.”

With only 34 legislative days remaining in 2019, House committees hope to take up the proposal in the next week and pass it out of the House by year’s end, according to NPR.

In the Senate, meanwhile, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Republican senators urge Trump to dodge pardon controversies Grassley suggests moderate Democrats for next Agriculture secretary MORE (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 | Defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal, includes White House cyber czar position | Officials warn hackers are targeting vaccine supply chain Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 Despite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill MORE (D-Ore.) reached a deal in July to limit out-of-pocket costs under Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program to $3,100 annually, with Grassley moving a draft version of the proposal out of committee, the network noted.