Biden targets drug costs in State of the Union Address

In his second annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, President Biden pointed to his accomplishments in shoring up the Affordable Care Act, and presented a fairly modest healthcare agenda that could garner bipartisan support.

Though the back-and-forth with Republican lawmakers over Medicare cuts made headlines, his prepared remarks focused primarily on drug costs, as he touted Medicare’s new drug negotiation powers and called for Medicare’s $35 monthly insulin cap to be extended to commercial health plans. 

The Gist: The fate of the President’s drug cost proposals, along with his calls for more COVID funding, mental health treatment, and cancer research, rest in the hands of a Republican House unlikely to work with him.

It brings us no joy to acknowledge that the 2024 Presidential race has already begun, meaning that substantive legislative action will likely take a back seat for the next two years. Looking ahead, we’d expect Biden’s reelection pitch to sound a lot like Tuesday’s speech, shored up by whatever he can deliver via rulemaking and executive orders. 

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