Inflation Reduction Act’s Drug Price Reforms Discussed by HHS Secretary During Visit to Upper Valley

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TL/DR –

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra highlighted the work of the Biden administration in addressing addiction, rural health care accessibility, and high drug prices during a stop in New Hampshire. The administration’s Investing in America Tour is promoting the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to lower health care costs by capping out-of-pocket payments, allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, and setting a monthly insulin cost cap at $35. Becerra outlined that no senior will pay more than $2,000 out-of-pocket for prescription drugs, though some critics argue more needs to be done to address high drug prices.


US Health Secretary Xavier Becerra Discusses High Drug Prices in New Hampshire Visit

LEBANON, N.H. – US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra addressed rural health care access, addiction, and soaring drug prices during his recent visit to Upper Valley, marking the third cabinet member visit to New Hampshire in recent months. Becerra’s visit is part of the Biden administration’s ongoing work.

Lebanon resident, Dick Nelson, 74, who consumes between eight and ten prescription medications daily, expressed concerns over high drug prices. “In January, the deductibles kick in and my inhaler costs jumped from $40 to $100,” Nelson shared.

At a meeting held at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Becerra, Dartmouth Health CEO Joanne Conroy, and Sen. Maggie Hassan addressed the issue. They focused on relevant provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, an essential part of the Biden administration’s Investing in America Tour.

Becerra emphasized that the Act aims to reduce health care costs by capping out-of-pocket payments. “No senior will have to pay more than $2,000 out of pocket for prescription drugs. For many Americans, this is a significant relief from the tens of thousands of dollars they spend on drug prices every year,” Becerra stated.

Additionally, the Act allows Medicare to directly negotiate with drug companies, imposing a $35 cap on monthly insulin costs. Sen. Hassan pointed out, “Insulin manufacturers, having agreed to the $35 cap for Medicare, will also apply it to other groups.”

However, those most affected by high drug prices, particularly seniors and people on a fixed income, argue that more action is needed. Nelson suggested adopting health care models from other countries like Canada and Europe.

This visit follows after the U.S. Education Secretary’s meeting with Dartmouth College students last month and the Commerce Secretary’s showcase of the Chips and Science Act in Nashua in December.

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