Legislation to boost Obamacare subsidies and direct the government to demand lower prices on certain drugs won House passage Monday, in an election-year reprise of earlier votes that Democratic leaders engineered to highlight differences with the Republican-controlled Senate and the Trump administration.
The bill (
The bill stands no chance of becoming law in the current Congress, but Democratic leaders said they’re making good on a 2018 campaign promise to protect the Affordable Care Act.
“When Democrats won the majority in the House, we did so promising to work to expand coverage, lower out-of-pocket costs, and provide greater stability for health insurance marketplaces,” House Majority Leader
The bill passed 234 to 179.
The package combines bills that have already passed the House (
Republican leaders said Democrats aren’t serious about improving the Affordable Care Act and warned that the legislation’s drug-pricing provisions would stymie investments in innovative new medicines.
“They find the political fear mongering to be too potent in an election-year weapon,” said Rep.
The House package, like many health bills the chamber has passed this year, has most Democrats’ support but wouldn’t go as far as some in the party would like to extend government negotiation on drug-pricing or the government’s role in providing health coverage.
“The exceedingly modest pharmaceutical provision in today’s bill excludes the uninsured and falls well short of what is needed to prevent monopoly prices for drugs,” Doggett said.