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 PelosiOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Democrats haggle as deal comes into focus Dem hopes for infrastructure vote hit brick wall 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 TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day 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 HoyerHoyer says deal is imminent, as early as Tuesday Democrats ready to put a wrap on dragged-out talks Pelosi: Democrats within striking distance of deal MORE (D-Md.) and three key committee chairmen, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Democrats announce bill to rein in tech algorithms House Democrats ramp up probe of FDA approval of Alzheimer's drug Intercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum MORE (D-N.J.), Richard NealRichard Edmund NealDemocrats haggle as deal comes into focus Manchin objects to IRS bank-reporting proposal Yellen should utilize the resources available before pushing new regulations MORE (D-Mass.) and Bobby ScottRobert (Bobby) Cortez ScottPandemic leads to sharp drop in school enrollment Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Watchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades 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 McConnellManchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks Biden needs to be both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Billionaire tax gains momentum 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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyBipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Another voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight On The Money — Senate Democrats lay out their tax plans Senate Democrats propose corporate minimum tax for spending package Elon Musk rips Democrats' billionaire tax plan 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.