Democrats suffer blow on drug pricing as 3 moderates buck party | TheHill

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Democrats' signature legislation to lower drug prices was defeated in a House committee on Wednes...
day as three moderate Democrats voted against their party.

Reps. Kurt Schrader Walter (Kurt) Kurt SchraderOvernight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Democratic leaders vow climate action amid divide Moderate House Democrats threaten drug pricing bill in House panel MORE (D-Ore.), Scott Peters Scott H. PetersOvernight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Moderate House Democrats threaten drug pricing bill in House panel Overnight Health Care — Biden defends push for vaccine mandates MORE (D-Calif.), and Kathleen Rice Kathleen Maura RiceOvernight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Moderate House Democrats threaten drug pricing bill in House panel Centrist House Democrats unveil rival proposal to lower drug prices MORE (D-N.Y.) voted against the measure to allow the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices, a long-held goal of Democrats.

The vote is a striking setback for Democrats' $3.5 trillion package. Drug pricing is intended to be a key way to pay for the package. Leadership can still add a version of the provision back later in the process, but the move shows the depth of some moderate concerns.

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The three moderates said they worried the measure would harm innovation from drug companies and pushed a scaled-back rival measure. The pharmaceutical industry has also attacked Democratic leaders' measure, known as H.R. 3, as harming innovation.

The three lawmakers had long signaled their concerns with the drug pricing measure, but actually voting it down in the House Energy and Commerce Committee is an escalation.

A separate committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, did advance the drug pricing measures on Wednesday, keeping the provisions in play for later in the process.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) had implored the three lawmakers to vote in favor of the…
Peter Sullivan
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