House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices

House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices
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The House will vote next week on a sweeping Democratic bill to lower drug prices, leaders announced on Thursday. 

The bill, a top priority for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide On The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation MORE (D-Calif.) and House Democrats, would allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for up to 250 drugs per year, with the lower prices applied to people with private insurance as well as Medicare. 

Democrats have tried to show that they are moving forward with kitchen-table issues like lowering drug prices at the same time they are also taking steps forward on impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE

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“We are going to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, and make those prices available to Americans with private insurance as well as Medicare beneficiaries,” Pelosi said in a statement along with Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse to vote on removing bust of Supreme Court justice who wrote Dred Scott ruling Black Caucus unveils next steps to combat racism Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill MORE (D-Md.) and three key committee chairmen, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneDem chairmen urge CMS to prevent nursing homes from seizing stimulus payments Federal watchdog finds cybersecurity vulnerabilities in FCC systems Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.J.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealIRS, taxpayers face obstacles ahead of July 15 filing deadline On The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Democratic leaders are much more progressive than you might believe MORE (D-Mass.) and Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottDeVos issues new rule ordering more coronavirus relief to private schools Am I racist? The coronavirus crisis has cut the child care sector MORE (D-Va.). “American seniors and families shouldn’t have to pay more for their medicines than what Big Pharma charges in other countries for the same drugs.”

The bill is expected to pass on a largely party-line vote, but is likely to die in the Senate, given that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Eighty-eight years of debt pieties Ernst says Trump should sign defense policy bill with military base renaming provision MORE (R-Ky.) has called the legislation “socialist” and vowed to block it. 

Republicans have warned the bill would hinder the development of new cures. 

Pelosi had been hoping that Trump would lend his support to the bill to help it get through the Senate, but after months of talks, the White House has recently started attacking the bill, making clear its opposition. 

Trump is instead backing a more modest bipartisan drug-pricing bill in the Senate, from Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP IRS, taxpayers face obstacles ahead of July 15 filing deadline Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits Hillicon Valley: Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse | Trump administration awards tech group contract to build 'virtual' wall | Advocacy groups urge Congress to ban facial recognition technologies Senate panel advances bill targeting online child sexual abuse MORE (D-Ore.), though that measure also faces opposition from many GOP senators. 

There is still some question about House progressives’ stance on Pelosi’s bill. Progressives have pushed for months for the bill to be stronger, including allowing negotiations on a higher number of drugs per year, but they have not explicitly threatened to vote no if they do not get their changes.