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Letter to the editor: Biden's Medicare drug win, Brunswick Beacon

The Inflation Reduction Act enabled the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare recipients. This major piece of legislation passed in 2022 without a single Republican vote and overcomes decades of the pharmaceutical industry stranglehold on the cost of life-saving drugs on which millions of Americans rely.

As expected, big pharma opposes negotiated prices, and they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying and litigating against it. While MAGA Republican legislators enriched themselves with pharmaceutical industry donations, President Biden and the Democrats fought tirelessly for Medicare drug cost control, because our senior citizens should not forego vital medications in order to afford basic living expenses.

America is one of the few advanced nations with widespread medical bankruptcy. A 2019 Kaiser survey showed we were carrying over $195 billion in medical debt. Beyond providing seniors with financial relief, negotiating drug prices is expected to save taxpayers over $160 billion. Since over 60 percent of the 65 million folks on Medicare – including thousands of Brunswick County citizens – rely on prescription medications, Biden’s achievement a very big deal.

This is an obvious win-win, but MAGA Republicans hate it. Republican strategist Joel White noted – without apparent irony - that “price control is a huge departure from where we have been as a country,” because “It gets politicians and bureaucrats right into your medicine cabinet.” Spoiler alert: Medicare has been negotiating prices for virtually every service for ages.

Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans are right in our doctors’ offices politicizing life or death medical treatment decisions for women and LGBTQ folks, offering rewards for abortion “snitches,” even criminalizing miscarriages.

Over 80 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s plan to negotiate Medicare drug costs. If you’re one of them, please vote accordingly. Democrats have your back on this and on so much more.

Larry Widman



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