Dems attempt legislation to require gov't to negotiate Medicare drug prices

WASHINGTON Democratic leaders have introduced legislation in the House and Senate that would require the government to negotiate drug prices for a new Medicare-run drug plan under Medicare Part D.

The bills, S. 2219 and H.R. 3932, would offer a Medicare-operated drug plan to patients as an alternative to those run by private insurance companies. The Health and Human Services secretary would have to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over the price for all of the drugs covered under the Medicare-administered plan.

Recent attempts to allow the government to negotiate drug prices under Part D have not gone far. H.R. 4, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, passed the House despite a veto threat from the White House.

However, the bill stalled when a vote ended debate in the Senate on its companion bill, S. 3. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the bill’s sponsor, offered a motion to reconsider the bill later this session.

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