A Senate lawmaker scrapped the prescription to control drug prices while the Senate is considering a weekend debate.

A Senate lawmaker ruled Saturday that Democrats must remove a provision aimed at exempting prescription drugs from the $740 billion health care, climate, tax and spending package in an expected The showdown is ahead as the chamber takes up the bill later in the week.

Elizabeth McDonough, who has been working overtime to make sure the Senate’s complex budget reconciliation rules are met on a nonpartisan cleanup of the far-reaching legislation, said Democrats should eliminate provisions that would Force manufacturers to pay rebates for products sold to private insurers. If their prices increase with inflation.

Drug manufacturers still have to pay penalties for these drugs purchased by Medicare.

Other provisions targeting drug prices, including measures to enable Medicare to negotiate drug prices and limit out-of-pocket costs for seniors, escaped the fray.

“This is a major victory for the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a statement. “While it was an unfortunate decision to make the inflation waiver more limited in scope, overall the program remains intact and we are one step closer to finally taking on Big Pharma and lowering Rx drug prices for millions of Americans. are.”

Blocking a proposal by Democrats to impose penalties on drug companies that raise costs to private insurers above inflation would reduce the $288 billion in long-term savings that Democrats had proposed as part of the bill. was said

The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the bill later in the week as Democrats rush to pass a central item on the Biden administration’s agenda before the Senate leaves for its August recess.

Republicans plan to put up a tough fight against the bill in what’s known as a “vote-a-ram” — an hours-long process that forces the entire House to consider changes to budget legislation. Part of the strategy is to put Democrats on the defensive on a range of hot-button topics.

At the end of the votes on the amendments, which could begin later this week, the majority party passes a final amendment that negates any previous amendments that were approved.

Senate Republicans have promised to make the process as tough as possible to put enough pressure on their Democratic colleagues to abandon the bill.

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