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Senate Democrats vote to finally allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices -- all 50 Republicans vote no

Chris Potter

On this edition of Your Call, we continue our series on the Democrats' scaled down climate, health, and tax bill, which passed the Senate on Sunday with no Republican support. We'll discuss the drug price and healthcare provisions of the bill.

For the first time ever, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate drug prices, but the lower prices won't go into effect until 2026. Pharmaceutical companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars fighting this change for decades. Also for the first time, annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000 for those on Medicare.


Wendell Potter, president of the Center for Health and Democracy, former vice president of corporate communications for Cigna, and author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans

Tricia Neuman, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, executive director of the Program on Medicare Policy, and senior advisor to the President

Web Resources:

STAT: In a massive victory for Democrats, Medicare is poised to negotiate drug prices

Common Dreams: 'What the Hell is Wrong With Them': GOP Senators Kill $35 Cap on Insulin

Common Dreams: 'Unbelievable': Half of New Drugs Launched in 2020-2021 Cost $150,000 or More Per Year

Wendell Potter NOW: As big insurance announces record profits, skyrocketing out-of-pockets (finally) take center stage.

Kaiser Health News: Campaign Contributions Tracker: Pharma Cash to Congress

Politico: Pharma group leader says Dems who vote for reconciliation bill 'won't get a free pass'

Common Dreams: Big Pharma Has Raised Drug Prices 1,186 Times This Year, Analysis Shows

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.