AARP West Virginia ‘outraged’ about domestic policy framework not addressing drug costs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — AARP West Virginia is urging West Virginians to contact their federal lawmakers after a provision to lower prescription drug costs was removed from President Joe Biden’s domestic policy framework.

When the president announced the $1.75 trillion plan last week, language aimed at reducing costs had been removed from an earlier version.

Gaylene Miller (File)

“AARP is outraged that the initial framework doesn’t do anything to lower prescription drug costs, and I think it’s a monumental mistake for Congress not to take this historic opportunity to improve the lives of basically every American family,” AARP West Virginia state director Gaylene Miller said.

Miller argued there is support for Medicare to negotiate for lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

“It’s the larger insurer in the country, and it’s strictly prohibited by law from negotiating for drug prices,” she said.

Miller blamed pharmaceutical groups for the provision’s removal, arguing organizations made “false and misleading claims” about what negotiations could mean for Americans.

Miller also urged Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to push for the inclusion of this provision.

“Sen. Manchin has been a champion, and he needs to continue to be a champion and fight hard to include these provisions in that final package,” she said.

Manchin has been a central figure in negotiations among Democrats; the senator opposed the original $3.5 trillion cost and provisions regarding climate change and paid family leave.

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