Biden Bits: Want to Take…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

President Biden’s public schedule for Thursday 03/16/2023

9:30 AM In-Town Pool Call Time
The White House In-Town Pool
10:00 AM The President receives the President’s Daily Briefing
The White House Closed Press
2:00 PM Press BriefingPress Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

Press briefing:


President Biden has tweeted…

We got 2 tweets so far for Thursday. I’m sharing them down thread.


When Biden Bits was posted for Wednesday, President Biden had tweeted 3 times. He added 8 tweets giving him a Wednesday Tweeting Total of 11 tweets and 0 retweets.

The 27 minute and 56 second YouTube has sound with speaker sync issues across all my devices. His full remarks can be found here. The below 4 tweets are worded only similarly to his remarks.

His 184 page searchable PDF budget can be found here.

We covered in full the fact-sheet Seniors Across the Country Are Saving Millions of Dollars in Health Care Costs Because of President Biden’s Prescription Drug Law in Wednesday’s Biden Bits:

Snip:

HHS Announces First Set of Prescription Drugs Subject to Inflation Rebates, Putting Money Back into Seniors’ Pockets Starting in April

Today HHS also announced the first set of Part B prescription drugs that will be subject to Medicare inflation rebates because they raised their prices faster than inflation. President Biden’s prescription drug law includes critical checks to ensure that prescription drug companies have to pay back Medicare if they raise prices on seniors at a higher rate than inflation. Starting in April, some Medicare beneficiaries will have lower coinsurance for the 27 prescription drugs that raised prices faster than inflation in the last quarter of 2022. Seniors may see their out-of-pocket costs for these drugs decrease by $2 to as high as $390 per average dose starting April 1st.

In addition to making drug companies pay Medicare back for increasing their prices faster than inflation, this provision of the Inflation Reduction Act discourages other companies from doing the same, with the goal of reining in excessive drug price hikes year-over-year. According to a recent report from HHS, 1,200 prescription drugs increased their prices faster than inflation in 2021 – the year before Congressional Democrats passed and President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act.

The 27 drugs subject to Medicare inflation rebates and the coinsurance adjustment rates are below:

White House.gov. 03/15/2023.

HHS.gov said on 03/15/2023:

For the first time in history, Medicare will have the ability to negotiate lower prescription drug prices because of the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden’s historic law which lowers health care and prescription drug costs. Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), issued initial guidance detailing the requirements and parameters—including requests for public comment— on key elements of the new Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program for 2026, the first year the negotiated prices will apply. Alongside other provisions in the new drug law, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program will strengthen Medicare’s ability to serve people currently in Medicare and for generations to come.

“For far too long, millions of Americans have had to choose between their prescription drugs and other monthly expenses,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “President Biden is leading the fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs – and with the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re making historic progress. Through the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program, we will make sure seniors get a fair price on Medicare’s costliest prescription drugs, promote competition in the market, and ensure Medicare is strong for beneficiaries today and into the future.”

“Drug price negotiation is a critical piece of how this historic law improves the Medicare program,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “By considering factors such as clinical benefit and unmet medical need, drug price negotiation intends to increase access to innovative treatments for people with Medicare.” 

The Biden-Harris Administration has made lowering high prescription drug costs and improving access to innovative therapies a key priority. CMS is releasing its initial guidance for how Medicare intends to use its new authority to effectively negotiate with drug companies for lower prices on selected high-cost drugs. The negotiation process will focus on key questions, including but not limited to the selected drug’s clinical benefit, the extent to which it fulfills an unmet medical need, and its impact on people who rely on Medicare. As a result of negotiation, people with Medicare will have access to innovative, life-saving treatments at costs that will be lower for both them and Medicare.

“Negotiation is a powerful tool that will drive drug companies to innovate to stay competitive, fostering the development of new therapies and delivery methods for the treatments people need,” said Meena Seshamani, M.D., Ph.D., CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare. “This initial guidance is the next step in the extensive engagement CMS has had to date with interested parties, and we look forward to continuing to receive comment on key policy areas and engage with the public as we implement the Negotiation Program.”

This initial guidance is one of a number of steps CMS laid out in the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program timeline – PDF for the first year of negotiation. The initial program guidance details the requirements and procedures for implementing the new Negotiation Program for the first set of negotiations, which will occur during 2023 and 2024 and result in prices effective in 2026. Key dates for implementation include:

HHS.gov. 03/15/2023.
  • By September 1, 2023, CMS will publish the first 10 Medicare Part D drugs selected for initial price applicability year 2026 under the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program.
  • The negotiated maximum fair prices for these drugs will be published by September 1, 2024 and prices will be in effect starting January 1, 2026.
  • In future years, CMS will select for negotiation up to 15 more Part D drugs for 2027, up to 15 more Part B or Part D drugs for 2028, and up to 20 more Part B or Part D drugs for each year after that, as outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act.

CMS is seeking comment on several key elements in today’s guidance. Comments received by April 14, 2023, will be considered for revised guidance. CMS anticipates issuing revised guidance for the first year of negotiation in Summer 2023.

CMS is committed to collaborating and engaging with the public in the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. CMS is working closely with patients and consumers, Medicare Part D plan sponsors and Medicare Advantage organizations, drug companies, hospitals and health care providers, wholesalers, pharmacies, and others.  Public feedback contributes to the success of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program, and this initial guidance is one tool, among many, that CMS will use to ensure interested parties know when and how they can make their voices heard on implementation of this new drug law.

View a fact sheet – PDF on the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program Initial Guidance

Read the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program Initial Guidance – PDF.

HHS.gov. 03/15/2023.

We covered in full the fact-sheet Seniors Across the Country Are Saving Millions of Dollars in Health Care Costs Because of President Biden’s Prescription Drug Law in Wednesday’s Biden Bits:

Snip:

New Report Suggests 3.4 Million Seniors and People with Disabilities Could Save An Average of $70 Per Year Because of Free Recommended Vaccines

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report today showing the savings people with Medicare will now enjoy because President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act makes recommended Part D vaccines free for beneficiaries. The report finds that 3.4 million people with Medicare would have saved $234 million in out-of-pocket costs in 2021 – an average of $70 per person – had the Inflation Reduction Act been in effect then. HHS expects the actual number of people who will benefit from these cost savings in 2023 will be larger than the 2021 figures because removing out-of-pocket costs will make the vaccines more affordable for the 51 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Part D plan. A state-by-state breakdown of cost-savings that Medicare beneficiaries would have experienced in 2021 can be found below.

HHS released data earlier this year that show that 1.5 million seniors and others on Medicare with diabetes would have saved, on average, $500 each per year on insulin if the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 cap on a month’s supply of insulin had been in effect in 2020. To view a state-by-state breakdown of number of Medicare enrollees who are benefitting from President Biden’s $35 cap on insulin visit HHS’s website.

HHS.gov said on 01/24/2023:

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new report showing the major savings coming to people with Medicare thanks to the $35 cap on a month’s supply of insulin. The report shows that if the Inflation Reduction Act’s provision capping the cost of insulin at $35 for a month’s supply for Medicare beneficiaries had been in place in 2020, 1.5 million seniors across the country would have saved an average of $500 on insulin for the year. Through the Inflation Reduction Act – the most consequential health care law since the Affordable Care Act – President Biden is delivering on his promise to lower prescription drug costs, make health insurance more affordable, and make the economy work for working families.

The insulin provisions of this historic law went into effect January 1, 2023, for Medicare Part D. Starting July 1, 2023, under Medicare Part B, beneficiary cost sharing will be limited to $35 for a month’s supply of insulin. Researchers estimate that 1.5 million people with Medicare would have benefited from the new Inflation Reduction Act insulin cost-sharing limits if they had been in effect in 2020, with total savings to beneficiaries of about $734 million in Part D and $27 million in Part B – an average savings of approximately $500 for those Medicare beneficiaries.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to lowering health care costs and increasing access to high-quality, affordable health care, and the Inflation Reduction Act is helping us do just that,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to this historic law, people who get their insulin through Medicare won’t have to pay more than $35 for a month’s supply. No one should have to skip or ration their insulin because they can’t afford it.”

Produced by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the report includes selected findings from a recent report to congress that examined the critical role that insulin plays in the treatment of diabetes, reviewed evidence on how insulin affordability affects adherence to insulin treatment and downstream health consequences, and described policy efforts to improve the affordability of insulin.

The new report also provides information on savings by state and by demographic characteristics, including gender, race and ethnicity, and age. The states with the most people with Medicare projected to benefit from the new Inflation Reduction Act insulin cost savings are Texas (114,000 beneficiaries), California (108,000), and Florida (90,000). North Dakota ($805), Iowa ($725), and South Dakota ($725) have the highest average annual out-of-pocket savings.

In 2019, about 37 percent of insulin fills for people with Medicare required cost-sharing exceeded $35 per fill, including 24 percent that exceeded $70 per fill.

Nationally, the average out-of-pocket cost was $58 per insulin fill in 2019, typically for a 30-day supply. Patients with private insurance or Medicare paid about $63 per fill on average.

The full HHS report, “Insulin Affordability and the Inflation Reduction Act: Medicare Beneficiary Savings by State and Demographics”, is available at https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/insulin-affordability-data-point and the Report to Congress is available at: https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/insulin-affordability-rtc

The state-by-state estimated savings and estimated number of Medicare individuals who would experience cost savings can be found below:

HHS.gov. 01/24/2023.

Estimated Out-of-Pocket Savings If Inflation Reduction Act $35 Out-of-Pocket Insulin Cap Had Been In Effect in 2020, by State

StateTotal Number of Enrollees in Part D and B Who Would Experience SavingsProjected IRA Savings ($)Average Annual Out-of-Pocket Savings Per Enrollee ($)
Alabama29,127$12,800,687$439
Alaska1,026$613,867$598
Arizona28,124$14,545,058$517
Arkansas15,559$8,395,598$540
California108,164$36,622,758$339
Colorado16,085$8,288,613$515
Connecticut11,444$6,749,195$590
Delaware6,066$2,707,378$446
Florida90,181$42,920,606$476
Georgia45,625$21,764,218$477
Hawaii3,703$1,440,292$389
Idaho7,927$4,801,119$606
Illinois59,718$30,975,919$519
Indiana42,310$22,876,374$541
Iowa18,834$13,648,044$725
Kansas15,657$10,170,650$650
Kentucky27,797$12,590,086$453
Louisiana22,071$9,095,485$412
Maine5,976$3,169,201$530
Maryland21,052$9,868,664$469
Massachusetts26,287$13,248,195$504
Michigan66,726$26,908,214$403
Minnesota27,128$18,232,052$672
Mississippi15,366$8,344,497$543
Missouri34,881$18,256,529$523
Montana4,835$2,913,023$602
Nebraska9,716$6,576,898$677
Nevada10,769$4,725,569$439
New Hampshire6,586$3,533,326$536
New Jersey39,641$20,239,433$511
New Mexico8,716$3,856,841$443
New York75,601$36,526,747$483
North Carolina56,921$25,580,364$449
North Dakota4,527$3,642,152$805
Ohio72,854$36,536,703$502
Oklahoma19,556$10,417,603$533
Oregon17,915$10,586,279$591
Pennsylvania80,197$43,565,423$543
Rhode Island4,678$2,269,088$485
South Carolina31,235$14,896,443$477
South Dakota4,568$3,313,226$725
Tennessee39,562$19,534,028$494
Texas114,242$50,395,627$441
Utah11,393$7,110,735$624
Vermont3,118$2,153,816$691
Virginia36,461$18,597,268$510
Washington28,063$16,917,285$603
Washington D.C.650$262,462$404
West Virginia12,656$5,706,666$451
Wisconsin31,935$20,064,260$628
Wyoming2,469$1,597,721$647

Thursday’s 1st and 2nd tweets:

The above tweet is more closely aligned with his remarks than the other tweets.

President Biden: Look, let me close with this.  You know, let’s finish the job.  Let’s protect the lower prescription drug costs for everyone.  Let’s expand healthcare for more people to get care.  Let’s keep building the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not from the top down.

The above tweet is more closely aligned with his remarks than the other tweets.

President Biden: Well, all Americans deserve peace of mind that if the illness strikes or they have — an accident occurs in their family, they can get the care they need but they can afford the care they need.

President Biden: That’s why my administration is focusing intensely — intensely on getting more people affordable healthcare by lowering prescription drug costs and giving families just a little bit — as my dad would say, just a little bit of breathing room.


Remarks by President Biden on Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence (03/14/2023):

The video snip is 1 minute and 14 seconds long.

President Biden: And we saw that strength in Brandon Tsay, who met me at the airport, whom Jill and I have gotten to know.  Twenty minutes after the rampage at Star Ballroom, Brandon saw the same shooter walk into his family’s own dance studio just two miles away, pointing a gun at him.  In an instant, he found the courage to act and wrestled the semi-automatic firearm away. Brandon saved lives.  He protected the community. At Half Moon Bay, just two days later — (applause) — you’ve got it.  (Applause.) Brandon, stand up.  (Applause.) At Half Moon Bay, just two days later, we saw heroism from police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who rushed into the danger to save lives. As many of you know, Jill and I invited Brandon as our guest at the State of the Union message because we wanted the country to know all of you — not just Brandon, all of you.  The character of this community.  The faith you have in this community.  The pride.  We see across — we see it in you across all of American life.

President Biden: And I am determined once again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.  (Applause.)  I led that fight in — to ban them in 1994.  In the 10 years that law was in place, mass shootings went down. 

President Biden: So let’s finish the job.  Ban assault weapons.  Ban them again.  Do it now.  Enough.  Do something.  Do something big.  (Applause.)

The video snip is 1 minute and 19 seconds long.

President Biden: Last year, after the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, I signed into law, after being in both places, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun safety law in almost 30 years. That was in addition to me signing more executive actions to reduce gun violence than any of my predecessors at this point in their presidencies. Today, I’m announcing another executive order that will accelerate and intensify this work to save more lives more quickly. First, this executive order helps keep firearms out of dangerous hands, as I continue to call on Congress to require background checks for all firearm sales.  (Applause.)  And in the meantime — in the meantime, my executive order directs my Attorney General to take every lawful action possible — possible to move us as close as we can to universal background checks without new legislation.

President Biden: The second thing it does — the executive order ramps up our efforts to hold the gun industry accountable.  It’s the only outfit you can’t sue these days.  It does that by calling out for an independent government study that analyzes and exposes how gun manufacturers aggressively market firearms to civilians, especially minors, including by using military imagery.

President Biden: Third, the executive order improves federal coordination to support victims, survivors, and their families and communities affected by mass shootings the same way FEMA responds to your natural disasters in California and all around the nation.  And it will help folks recover and build after wi- — that — they help folks recover and build after wildfires and superstorms and droughts.

President Biden: But let’s be clear: None of this absolves Congress the responsibility — from the responsibility of acting to pass universal background checks, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability.  (Applause.) And I am determined once again to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.  (Applause.)  I led that fight in — to ban them in 1994.  In the 10 years that law was in place, mass shootings went down. 


We covered the fact-sheet on the new executive to reduce gun violence in Tuesday’s Biden Bits. The Executive Order can be found here.

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About Tiff 2617 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.

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