Biden Bits: “Optimism is Up”…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

It’s Thursday…


President Biden’s public schedule for 02/01/2024:

7:00 AM
Presidential Daily Brief
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Closed Press
7:30 AM
Left the White House
The President departs the White House en route to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
South Grounds In-Town Travel Pool
8:00 AM
Attended the National Prayer Breakfast
The President attends the National Prayer Breakfast
In-Town Travel Pool
9:45 AMOfficial ScheduleThe President arrives at the White House
10:55 AMPool Call TimeOut-of-Town Pool Call Time
Joint Base Andrews Overhang Out-of-Town Pool
11:40 AM
Left the White House
The President departs the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
South Grounds In-Town Travel Pool
12:00 PMSupplemental Pool Call Time
Stakeout Location
12:10 PM
Leaves Joint Base Andrews
The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route to the Detroit Metro Area, Michigan
Joint Base Andrews Out-of-Town Pool
12:45 PM
Press Gaggle
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby will gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to the Detroit Metro Area, Michigan
1:35 PM
Arrives in Detriot
The President arrives in the Detroit Metro Area, Michigan
Open Press
3:45 PM
Campaign Event
The President participates in a political event
Out-of-Town Pool
7:35 PM
Leaves Detroit
The President departs the Detroit Metro Area, Michigan en route to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Open Press
9:05 PM
Leaves Philly
The President departs Philadelphia, Pennsylvania en route to New Castle, Delaware
Out-of-Town Pool
9:20 PM
Arrives in New Castle, Delaware
The President arrives in New Castle, Delaware

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby Gaggle Aboard Air Force One @12:45 p.m. D.C., time:

Blatnik Bridge Tweet

From Wednesday…

The video is 1 minute and 23 seconds long. It was filmed in Earth Rider Brewery. The gist of the video is President Biden has a beer and talks with the owner of Earth Rider Brewery, Tim Nelson and what appears to be union members. The union members are likely those going to be doing work on the Blatnik Bridge project.

A Starting Point Tweet

From Wednesday…

The video is 37 seconds long; features Chris Evans (Captain America) and President Biden. Evans becomes super excited for the photo-op when presented with a pair of “Dark Brandon” aviator sunglasses.

A Starting Point was founded by actor Chris Evans and Mark Kassen. According to the 6 minute and 55 second video featured on the websites about page they started the project to create a more engaged electorate using video-based communications.

The “A Starting Point’s co-founders on their journey” video blurb says; A Starting Point is a video-based civic engagement platform created by Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, and technology entrepreneur Joe Kiani. ASP’s mission is to create a bipartisan channel of communication and connectivity between Americans and their elected officials with the goal of creating a more informed electorate.

The actors were visiting the White House to speak with dozens of high school seniors to talk about civic engagement.

The YouTube of the Youth Engagement Forum event is 49 minutes and 8 seconds long.

Breathing Room/Optimism is Up Tweets

From Wednesday…

The photo was taken during his visit to the Blatnik Bridge on 01/25/2024.

From Thursday…

Statement by President Joe Biden on Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Progress:

For the first time in history, Medicare is making offers on the fair price for ten of the most widely used and expensive drugs. Medicare is no longer taking whatever prices for these drugs that the pharmaceutical companies demand. 

To keep their prices high, Big Pharma and their allies lobbied hard against this historic law, and they were joined by every single Republican in Congress, who voted against giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices.  What’s worse, Republicans in Congress are still trying to block this historic law and keep Medicare from getting the best deal for America’s seniors, supporting legislation and budgets that would repeal my work to lower drug prices.

My vision is different. Medicare is negotiating for lower prices on drugs to treat everything from diabetes, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and more. Just one of these drugs alone can cost as much as $6,500 in out-of-pocket costs for seniors. Through my Inflation Reduction Act, we’re working to give seniors the best possible deal on their prescription drugs and lower health care costs. Already, we’ve cut insulin costs to $35 for seniors and people with disabilities, 15 million Americans are saving an average of $800 per year on health insurance costs, and seniors’ out of pocket drug costs will be capped at $2,000 starting next year. The days where Americans pay two to three times what they pay for prescription drugs in other countries are ending.  

My Administration won’t stop fighting to lower health care costs for seniors and families. Even as Republicans in Congress continue to try to repeal my Inflation Reduction Act, cut Medicare and Social Security benefits, end insurance for millions, and keep health care costs high, we’ll continue to protect these programs and deliver lower costs for seniors and hardworking families.

White 02/01/2024.

Interested Parties Memo: President Biden Takes On Big Pharma and Is Lowering Prescription Drug Prices:

After decades of opposition, President Biden enacted a law that finally takes on Big Pharma and gives Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act will save millions of seniors money on some of the costliest prescription drugs on the market –and today, Medicare will send initial offers to manufacturers of the first ten drugs selected for drug price negotiation to help bring down the price of these prescription drugs.  This is the first time ever that Medicare is not accepting the drug prices the pharmaceutical companies set. 

The drug price negotiation program is a prime example of the ways the Administration is working to lower costs for American families. In 2022, nine million seniors on Medicare were prescribed the ten drugs selected for the first round of drug price negotiation. These individuals spent an estimated $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022 alone for these drugs, which are used to treat some of the most common conditions like blood clots, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more. Some seniors spent nearly $6,500 out-of-pocket for a single one of these drugs – while Big Pharma continued to make record profits, ripping off American taxpayers and the seniors their drugs aim to treat.

New report highlights Big Pharma price gouging

A new report released today shows that in 2022, Big Pharma charged Americans two to three times more than what they charged people in other OECD countries for the same drugs, even when accounting for rebates and discounts. As one example, U.S. gross prices for insulin – a drug that has been around for 100 years and costs drug companies just $10 a vial to make – were on average almost ten times the price in the United States than in comparison countries.

This comes as large drug companies spent nearly $750 billion on self-enriching stock buybacks and dividends over the last decade. Big Pharma also executed over $135 billion in mergers and acquisitions in 2023 alone, while passing the cost to consumers. And six of ten of the drugs selected for this year’s negotiation program raised their prices in the first month of 2024 – after all ten drugs were already priced three to eight times higher in the United States than in other countries.

President Biden’s drug price negotiation program finally takes on Big Pharma’s exorbitant price gouging of seniors, allowing Medicare to put money back in the pockets of American families. By negotiating lower prices for these drugs – and dozens more in the years that follow – the Biden Administration is creating a new and better deal for patients.

Drug price negotiation could have a significant impact on seniors

Until the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare was prohibited from directly negotiating prescription drug prices to get the best deal for seniors, even as other government agencies that provide health services actively negotiate lower drug prices. The Veterans Health Administration, Department of Defense, and Medicaid all have the power to negotiate drug prices, and they pay less than Medicare, on average, for top-selling brand-name drugs. In 2017, the Government Accountability Office found that the VA paid on average 49 percent less per unit for the same brand-name drugs offered through the VA health system than Medicare Part D paid.

Big Pharma and House Republicans continue to attack popular drug price negotiation program

Americans from all backgrounds and ages overwhelmingly support Medicare being able to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors, with eight in ten adults in favor of the federal government negotiating drug prices.  

At the same time, Big Pharma is litigating nine lawsuits against Medicare Drug Price Negotiation. They’re hoping the courts will do what they could not get done in Congress: block Medicare from negotiating lower prices for seniors and families. And House Republicans are all too eager to come to drug companies’ defense. House Republicans have pledged to eliminate the Inflation Reduction Act, have vowed to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits, are trying to kick millions of Americans off affordable health care, and would keep drug prices high for seniors and American families.

President Biden won’t stand for that. He is laser focused on lowering costs, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and making sure his Inflation Reduction Act gives more seniors, people with disabilities, and families more breathing room. 

White 02/01/2024.

Later this year, new, negotiated prices for the first ten prescription drugs selected for the negotiation program are scheduled to be announced. Over the next four years, Medicare will select up to 60 drugs for negotiation – and up to 20 additional drugs per year after that.

Beyond that, millions of seniors with diabetes are already benefitting from the $35 cap for a month’s supply of insulin under the President’s Inflation Reduction Act. Fifteen million Americans are saving $800 per year on health insurance premiums. And seniors that took the 47 drugs covered by Medicare Part B that hiked prices faster than inflation in 2023 had lower coinsurance, with some enrollees saving as much as $618 per dose.

No matter how many times House Republicans try to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden knows how it is delivering for American families, and his Administration will continue the fight to lower health care costs for more Americans.

White 02/01/2024.

Remembrance Tweet

From Wednesday…

Statement from President Joe Biden on the Passing of Former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan:

Jean Carnahan was a devoted partner, public servant, and the first woman to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate, and someone I’m proud to have called a dear friend. In the face of unspeakable loss, she found the courage to step up into work she’d never imagined, putting the people and values she believed in above her personal comfort in order to serve our nation.

I remember when she arrived in Washington, just weeks after losing her husband, Mel, and their son, Randy, in a plane crash. I didn’t know her then, but I knew her loss. When I met her, moments after she’d been sworn in to Mel’s seat in the Senate, I told her what other senators had told me when I’d first arrived, having just lost my own wife and daughter – “lose yourself in the work.” But Jean found herself in the work, and over the years, I saw her turn her pain into tremendous purpose.

Jean always knew the value of hard work. She met the love of her life, Mel, in high school, where they sat together in class. She worked her way through college, the first in her family to graduate, at a time when many women never considered attending. Married at 21, she became Mel’s indispensable political partner, in the field, in the governor’s mansion, and over the decades helping to run his nearly two dozen state and local campaigns. Whether working to pass school bonds in their hometown of Rolla, or fighting for daycare for working families as Missouri’s First Lady, she was sharp, kind, and committed to consensus. She revered history and took the honor of the job seriously, personally raising funds to restore the governor’s mansion as the people’s house.

In the U.S. Senate, Jean worked for gun safety and reproductive freedom. She stood up for workers, sponsoring legislation to support folks who’d lost their jobs in the wake of 9/11. And as one of only a handful of women to have then served on the Armed Services Committee, she was part of the first Congressional delegation to travel to Afghanistan that year, and helped to guide our country through its own immense grief at that time.

When Mel was killed, Jean embraced a new motto – “don’t let the fire go out.” She dedicated her life to stoking the flames. And thanks to her quiet courage and lifetime of service, they will keep burning bright.

I’m grateful for Jean’s support over the years, and for the support of her brilliant, strong children, Russ, Tom, and especially Robin, whom I’m so proud to have serving in my Administration as our Administrator of General Services.

Our love is with them today; with her grandchildren; and with the people of Missouri whom she so honorably served in so many ways for so long.

White 01/31/2024.

AP News (01/30/2024): Former U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan, who became the first female senator to represent Missouri when she was appointed to replace her husband following his death, died Tuesday. She was 90. Carnahan, a Democrat, was appointed to the Senate in 2001 after the posthumous election of her husband, Gov. Mel Carnahan, and she served until 2002.

The National Prayer Breakfast Tweet

From Thursday…

The YouTube is 12 minutes and 21 seconds long. His full remarks haven’t been posted yet.

“New” From the White House…

01/30/2024 (Tuesday):

01/31/2024 (Wednesday):

This is an Open Thread.

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About Tiff 2546 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.