Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) at the Capitol on Friday, Dec. 17 (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Joe Manchin quash­es any im­me­di­ate hopes for ma­jor drug pric­ing re­forms

Sen. Joe Manchin on Sun­day de­railed Pres­i­dent Biden’s tril­lion-dol­lar spend­ing pack­age, ef­fec­tive­ly halt­ing the De­moc­rats’ best chance yet to al­low Medicare to ne­go­ti­ate drug prices, among a bevy of oth­er health-re­lat­ed pro­vi­sions tacked on­to the Build Back Bet­ter Act.

White House press sec­re­tary Jen Psa­ki, stunned by Manchin’s an­nounce­ment on Fox News, said in a state­ment: “Sen­a­tor Manchin claims that this change of po­si­tion is re­lat­ed to in­fla­tion, but the think tank he of­ten cites on Build Back Bet­ter — the Penn Whar­ton Bud­get In­sti­tute — is­sued a re­port less than 48 hours ago that not­ed the Build Back Bet­ter Act will have vir­tu­al­ly no im­pact on in­fla­tion in the short term, and, in the long run, the poli­cies it in­cludes will ease in­fla­tion­ary pres­sures.”

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