Pelosi Announces Plan to Lower Drug Prices

(CN) – Ahead of a hearing set for next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released her plan to lower drug prices Thursday morning.

“Americans shouldn’t pay more for their prescriptions than people in other countries,” Pelosi tweeted Thursday.

“For years, seniors & families across America have struggled under the sky-rocketing costs of prescription drugs they need to stay healthy,” she continued. “Today, we introduce our solution to #LowerDrugCosts.”

The plan, which Pelosi called the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, would give Medicare the power to negotiate prices for up to 250 drugs, including Insulin, put a $2,000 annual cap on the amount seniors covered by Medicare’s “Part D” pay in cash for medications, and force pharmaceutical companies to pay rebates to Medicare for increasing drug prices past the rate of inflation.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is set to discuss the plan in a hearing Wednesday.

Democrats on the committee seem eager to strike a deal.  Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J., and Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., said Wednesday in a joint statement that the hearing will mark the beginning of a process to consider legislative proposals to lower drug prices and hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable.

“Across the nation, millions of Americans struggle to keep up with the soaring cost of prescription drugs without any relief in sight,” Pallone and Eshoo said. “We have a broken system that forces many Americans to skimp on medications while driving up health insurance premiums and creating unaffordable costs for taxpayers.”

All 24 Republicans on the committee are critical of Pelosi’s plan. They released a joint statement Thursday calling accusing Pelosi of “pushing a socialist proposal to appease her most extreme members.”

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