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Senate Democrats strike a deal to cut prescription drug prices in Biden’s social spending plan

From left to right: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). A deal to lower prescription drug costs is back in Biden’s infrastructure bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Crucially, it has the approval of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democrat who was a reported holdout.

After previously being considered left on the cutting room floor, a deal to lower prescription drug costs is back in President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better framework.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, noting that Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a key holdout, was on board.

"It’s not everything we all wanted. Many of us would have wanted to go much further," Schumer said. "But it’s a big step in helping the American people deal with the price of drugs."

The plan would kick in 2023, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a chief negotiator of the provision, told reporters. It would authorize the federal government to negotiate the price of some drugs for seniors enrolled in Medicare. It would also cap the cost of insulin to $35 each month in a bid to contain prices that have soared in recent years.

"So what we’re coming out of the gate on in 2023 is negotiating over the most expensive drugs – cancer, arthritis, anti-coagulants," Wyden told reporters. It would limit out-of-pocket spending for seniors in Medicare part D to $2,000 as well.

Wyden added that the measure includes "anti-price gouging" penalties for pharmaceutical companies who increase the cost of drugs faster than inflation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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