Dec. 8 Event: Unpacking the Prescription Drug Provisions of the Build Back Better Act

As the Build Back Better Act shifts from the House to the Senate, there’s considerable interest in provisions that would lower the cost of prescription drugs. The House-passed bill would allow the federal government to negotiate prices for some high-cost drugs in Medicare, and set a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug spending for Medicare Part D enrollees.  For people with Medicare and private insurance, the legislation would limit annual increases in drug prices and cap patient cost sharing for insulin.

The measures have taken shape amidst strong bipartisan public support for the government to address high and rising drug prices. The Congressional Budget Office estimates federal budget savings from the drug pricing provisions would be $297 billion over 10 years.

On December 8, 2021 KFF hosted a web briefing featuring KFF and other health policy experts to explain the key prescription drug provisions in the House-passed budget reconciliation bill, examine public support for prescription drug pricing reform and discuss prospects for passage in the Senate.

  • Tricia Neuman, a KFF senior vice president and executive director of KFF’s Program on Medicare Policy, moderated the discussion.
  • Juliette Cubanski, deputy director of the Program on Medicare Policy at KFF described the key prescription drug provisions in the legislation.
  • Mollyann Brodie, an executive vice president at KFF and executive director of KFF’s Public Opinion and Survey Research Program, provided an overview of public opinion about prescription drug reform proposals.
  • Chris Jennings and Jennifer Young offered perspectives on the prescription drug proposals in the Build Back Better legislation and the prospects for enactment. Chris Jennings is president of Jennings Policy Strategies who served as a health policy advisor in the Obama and Clinton administrations. Jennifer Young is a partner at the health policy consulting firm Tarplin, Downs & Young who served as a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration.


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