PORTLAND, Ore. — President Joe Biden at a community center here Saturday promoted Democrats’ efforts to bring down health care costs, in a visit to a normally Democratic state three weeks before midterm elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.
Speaking on the first day of Medicare open enrollment, Biden touted a $750 billion climate, tax and health care package Democrats in Congress passed along party lines earlier this year, giving particular attention to provisions to cap the price of insulin at $35 per month for Medicare patients and to allow federal programs to negotiate the prices of certain high-price drugs.
Middle-class families deserved the security of having additional spending money after paying monthly bills, he said. And bringing down health care costs was key to providing that.
“My dad used to say that everyone deserves a little bit of breathing room,” Biden told roughly 200 supporters at the community center on the city’s east side. “That’s all this is about. You know, a lot of people don’t have any breathing room. It’s especially the case when it comes to health care and prescription drugs.”
Democrats in Congress—including Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon’s delegation, who were in attendance—pushed for those provisions and voted unanimously for the bill, while all Republicans opposed it, Biden said.
The bill’s passage represented a rare victory over the pharmaceutical industry, he said.
“This year, the American people won and, for the first time, Big Pharma lost,” he said.
Costs for users of Medicaid and Medicare were set to decrease, while Social Security payments would rise, Biden said. Read more