Biden Bits: That’s My Build Back Better Agenda

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday.

For Thursday, August 12th, 2021, President Biden has received his daily brief. Testing my abilities not to get distracted, this morning D.C., time President Biden will offer remarks explaining how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drugs. After his remarks he will depart D.C., and head home to Delaware.

Daniel Dale is still on vacation.

President Biden has tweeted 1 time so far for Thursday;

The video is 1 minute and 27 seconds. Gail has taken over the White House twitter account…

The White House published the following “fact-sheet” aka a preview of his upcoming remarks on lowering prescription:

President Biden Calls on Congress to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Today, President Biden is laying out his vision for reducing the high cost of prescription drugs. As part of his Build Back Better agenda, he’s calling on Congress to address this crisis and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, significantly reducing costs for millions of Americans.
Specifically, the President’s plan includes:

White House.gov. 08/12/2021.
  • Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices.

For every other type of health care service, Medicare works to get the best prices for American seniors. But for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – Medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating for the best deal.  This needs to change.  Medicare should be able to negotiate the price for a subset of expensive drugs that don’t face any competition in the market.  Medicare negotiators would be provided a framework for what constitutes a fair price for each drug, and there should be powerful incentives to make sure drug companies agree to a reasonable price.

  • Making Other Needed Reforms to Lower Prices.

We need to put an end to drug prices rising higher and higher with no end in sight. Drug companies that raise their prices faster than inflation should have to pay a penalty. Furthermore, today, seniors who take expensive drugs can face unlimited exposure to high drug prices. We have to fix this, and establish a firm cap on the amount that Medicare beneficiaries have to pay out-of-pocket for drugs each year.

  • Building on Existing Progress to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs.

These actions would build upon steps the President has taken to make prescription drugs more affordable for all Americans. Last month, President Biden signed an executive order calling upon each Agency to improve competition, increase wages, and reduce prices—including for prescription drugs. Alongside other steps, the federal government will be working with states and Tribes to import safe, lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada and accelerating the development and uptake of generic and biosimilar drugs that give patients the same exact clinical benefit but at a fraction of the price.

These reforms would lower premiums and copays for millions of Americans.  Insulin prices could fall by hundreds of dollars on average.   The price for some arthritis medicines might fall by more than $2,000 every month.  And for some of the most expensive drugs, prices would fall by tens of thousands of dollars per year.  These price savings would put money back in seniors’ pockets: a person taking an expensive cancer drug could see their out of pocket costs fall by at least $9,000 a year, and even seniors who don’t take expensive drugs could see their premiums cut.  On average, Medicare beneficiaries would save about $200. And it’s not just Medicare beneficiaries that would benefit.  If Medicare makes the prices it negotiates available to commercial payers, too, costs for employer health insurance would fall – reducing premiums by tens of billions of dollars or more.

Public opinion polls show that the majority of Americans—Republicans and Democrats—support this change. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to do everything we can to make high quality health care more affordable and accessible. By enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices, Congress can do its part to bring down costs and secure the health and financial security of our nation’s seniors.

White House.gov. 08/12/2021.

When Biden Bits was published for Wednesday the President had tweeted 2 times. He added 8 tweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 10 tweets and 0 retweets.

The White House published the following readout; President Biden’s Meeting with Business, University and Health Care Leaders on COVID-⁠19 Vaccination Requirements:

Today, President Biden virtually met with four business, university and health care leaders who have adopted COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their workforces. The President expressed his appreciation for these leaders stepping up to protect the lives of their employees and communities. He highlighted the Administration’s vaccination requirements for the federal workforce, including requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for service members. During the meeting, the leaders shared how they arrived at their decision to require vaccinations and how they are working to implement their own requirements. The President asked each of these leaders to talk to their industry peers about this important step to share best practices and encourage additional action. He expressed his optimism that additional employers would follow suit, and he noted that the federal government will continue to support employers as they require COVID-19 vaccinations.
 
Meeting Participants

White House.gov. 08/11/2021.
White House.gov. 08/11/2021.

The video stream is 18 minutes and 8 seconds long. President Biden begins his remarks at the 1 minute and 16 second mark. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden (2:35): So, here’s where we stand: Jobs are up, and monthly price increases have come down.  Economic growth is up to the fastest in 40 years, and unemployment is coming down. So, I was — argued our — the Biden economic plan is working.  And historic investments are on the way as well.

President Biden (3:43): First, for millions of families, help is on the way right now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan. On Friday, about 40 million families will receive their second monthly payment as part of our tax cut for families with children: three hundred and — $300 for each child under the age of 6, and $250 for every child 6 through the age of 17. That’s money for diapers, food, rent, school supplies, fees and equipment for a child to join sports teams and dance class. Most of all, as my dad used to say, it just gives a parent a little bit of breathing room. The money is a game changer. And so, I would argue, for — for some, it’s literally a lifesaver.

I believe he is referring to a report posted via the White House by the Council of Economic Advisers and Office of Management and Budget.

Over the last three decades, American families have experienced a rise in the costs of many necessities that has made it difficult for them to attain economic security. While prices of some services and goods have fallen substantially over this period, especially when bearing in mind increases in their quality, several others—particularly health care, prescription drugs, childcare, and education—have risen substantially, and in many cases, faster than incomes. Rising income inequality and the fact that low- and middle-income-families spend a higher share of their budgets on necessities mean that low- and middle-income families are more exposed to these cost increases.

Through the Build Back Better economic agenda, the Biden Administration has proposed critical investments to address these long-standing cost pressures. Families with young children will benefit most from the proposed expansion of the Child Tax Credit, universal preschool, and improvements in the quality of childcare and a reduction in associated out-of-pocket costs. Proposals to lower prescription drug cost through Medicare-negotiated prices, add dental and vision benefits to Medicare, and expand access to home- and community-based care through Medicaid will especially benefit households with elderly members. Combined, these policy proposals, and others put forward by the President, will help ensure that families can meet costs and share in a broad prosperity.

White House.gov. 08/12/2021.

President Biden (11:36): Today, my Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Management and Budget released a report showing clearly how my Build Back Better plan will lower out-of-pocket expenses for families. For example [page 9 from the report linked above], a family with two parents who together earn $85,000 per year.  They have an adult daughter who lives with them and attends a community college.  They care for an elderly parent who needs arthritis medicine, which costs $5,500 out-of-pocket each year, and an eye exam to get a new pair of glasses. Under our Build Back Better plan, their daughter would be eligible for two years of community college free.  That will save them $2,400 a year.  That’s like a $2,400 tax credit.  In addition — and I should say “tax cut,” not just “credit.”

The video is 15 seconds long.

President Biden: Last night [early Wednesday morning], the United States Senate took a big step toward my economic plan of Building Back Better, which will lower taxes, increase access to help for middle class families, and quite frankly, grow the economy. And I’m really pleased with that.

President Biden (8:58): These challenges were with us long before the pandemic and before I took office. But as we recover from this crisis, now is the moment to put in place a long-term plan to build back America better — a plan that will increase opportunities with better jobs and with higher wages; a plan that will lower the everyday costs that strain our budgets and our nation’s families today and long into the future. It starts with making investments that we know will make the economy more productive and lead to more growth over the long run. Bringing down the costs — everyday costs that have been taking a bigger and bigger bite out of middle-class families’ incomes — the expenses that parents — that keep parents up at night and rob seniors of their dignity: healthcare, prescription drug costs, childcare, education, housing, or caring for an elderly relative or loved one.


President Biden’s remarks are scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. D.C., time. Imma gonna attempt to have the thread published by the time they start. Will I succeed? Stay tuned…

It appears that the White House COVDI-19 briefing is taking place at the White House’s press briefing room. It’s scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. D.C., time.

This is an open thread

P.S., we are now awaiting President Biden’s remarks. He’s gonna tweet a live feed, I will not have shown in this article just before or as his remarks start. I would like a gold star noted for my file, that I indeed was ready before President Biden…

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Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.