As a reminder, the provision to reduce the costs of prescription drugs is part of the legislative package called “Build Back Better,” which is one of the top priorities of President Biden. However, because of the Senate rule regarding a filibuster which requires 60 votes to pass a bill instead of a simple majority of 51, Democrats do not have enough votes to pass the bill at this time. No Republican supports the bill and Senators Joe Manchin (D - W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D -Ariz.) have both announced they are opposed to changing the rules regarding a filibuster.
So where does that leave the prescription drug effort?
Some Democrats are starting to talk about pulling certain provisions out of the Build Back Better legislation that are popular with the public and that some Republicans have previously come out in support of and trying to pass them as stand-alone bills.
So far, the Democratic leaders in Congress have not agreed to do this, but it is under discussion.
If that effort is not made, then the fate of lowering the costs of prescription drugs rests with the fate of the Build Back Better legislation, which right now does not look promising.
We urge you to contact your own Senators and Representative and let them know you want Congress to pass legislation to lower the costs of prescription drugs. Since this is an election year and control of Congress will be up for grabs, your voice can make a major difference in the fight over drug prices.
In the meantime, TSCL will continue doing our part to push Congress to act this year to bring the costs of prescription drugs down.