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Biden touts administration's efforts to lower health care costs

Joe Biden
Posted at 12:33 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 13:20:29-05

President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra on Thursday will travel to Culpeper, Virginia, to deliver remarks highlighting the White House's efforts to lower health care costs for Americans.

Biden touted the initiatives he's proposed as a part of a White House-backed social spending package that's currently stalled in Congress. He said the "Build Back Better" bill, if passed, would levy a steep tax on drug companies who raise prices above inflation rates.

"(Drug companies are) finally going to become accountable when you raise prices on the American people," Biden said.

"Health care should be a right in this country, not a privilege," he added.

In the release published Thursday, the Biden Administration highlights provisions in the bill that would "lower the cost of health care, child care and prescription drugs."

"These investments are paid for, and will increase our economy's capacity over time by getting more people working and lowering costs families struggle with. President Biden is focused on working with Congress to enact these proposals as quickly as possible," the release said.

However, at the moment, the social spending bill known as "Build Back Better" has little chance of passing the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has said he will not vote for the legislation. With no Republicans backing the bill, the legislation does not have the requisite 50 votes to force a tiebreaker from Vice President Kamala Harris.

An analysis from Scripps national politics reporter Joe St. Geroge notes that even if the bill was passed, it could take years for drug prices to come down.

Biden has made lowering health care costs a key part of his domestic agenda. He's made several speeches on the topic and signed an executive order aimed at preventing anti-competitive behavior from drug companies.