Trouble in drug pricing land
Three moderate House Democrats announced that they would vote against their party’s legislation to lower drug prices in committee on Tuesday, threatening a defeat for one of Democrats’ signature measures.
Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) announced in separate statements on Tuesday that they would vote against the section of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package dealing with lowering drug prices during a markup in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is currently ongoing.
The committee has not yet turned to the drug pricing section, but if all three lawmakers stick to their statements and vote no, it would be enough to defeat that section, given that all Republicans are also expected to vote no.
All three lawmakers last week put forward scaled-back, rival drug pricing legislation that they said would “preserve innovation” and could gain bipartisan support. The pharmaceutical industry has attacked the drug pricing bill backed by Democratic leaders, known as H.R. 3, as threatening innovation from drug companies.
So, what now? The markup is still ongoing on Tuesday, and there could be new developments. There’s also the Senate, anyway.
The drug pricing provisions were already expected to be changed before the final version of the $3.5 trillion package, given that Senate Democratic moderates also have concerns.
But this is a show of force from the moderates.