Senators Unveil Compromise to Reduce Drug Costs for Seniors

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two senior senators – one Republican, one Democrat – are unveiling compromise legislation to reduce prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare recipients, while saving money for federal and state health care programs.

Staffers for Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden said Tuesday the bill would for the first time limit drug copays for people with Medicare’s prescription plan, capping patients’ total out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 a year starting in 2022.

It would also require drugmakers to pay a “price hike penalty” to Medicare if the cost of their medications goes up faster than inflation.

Senators are hoping for a committee vote Thursday.

The White House encouraged the Senate negotiations.

Democrats controlling the House want to go farther by granting Medicare legal authority to negotiate prices.

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