Biden takes aim at California Republican Big Pharma

IRVINE, Calif., Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden criticized Republicans and drug companies during a stopover at a California community college as he campaigned for his fellow Democrats in November’s midterm elections , as his party tries to maintain a slim edge in Congress.

The trip includes stops in California on Friday and Oregon on Saturday, as Biden positions his party as an advocate for consumers and lowers health care costs at a time when inflation is the top concern for voters. Midterm elections are in November. 8.

“We went up against Big Pharma, and we beat them,” Biden said. Limit what seniors pay for prescriptions; and cut insulin prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries to $35.

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Biden has pledged to cap insulin prices to $35 for all Americans if Democrats retain the House and Senate. Most projections point to a smaller Democratic advantage in the Senate and a larger Republican advantage in the House.

Biden has claimed that if Republicans gain control, they will repeal prescription drug price caps and take away Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices.

Biden was introduced by Rep. Katie Porter, who grilled bank and drug company executives about their profits during a high-profile congressional hearing.

“This is the cold truth. Corporate greed can worsen health outcomes, deprive taxpayers and threaten our capitalist economy,” Porter said, claiming that the pharmaceutical industry is undermining competition and price transparency.

Biden signed an order Friday giving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 90 days to outline how it will use new care and payment models to reduce drug costs.

U.S. consumer prices rose 8.2% in the 12 months through September, data on Thursday showed, after hitting more than 9% in the summer and growing at the fastest pace since 1981.For the most recent month, health care costs and food and rent

“Americans are being squeezed by the cost of living — for years, and it’s a key reason for the presidential campaign,” the White House said in a fact sheet, accusing drug companies of raising prices. “Health care costs in particular are driving inflation.”

HHS has the authority to promote new ways to reduce costs and expand care through the Innovation Center, created by the 2010 health care reform law called Obamacare, located at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In August, Biden signed into law a $430 billion inflation reduction more

About 65 million Americans are enrolled in health insurance plans that have come under fire for their cost to taxpayers.

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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason; Editing by Robert Birsel, Heather Timmons and David Gregorio

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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