In the weeks since the White House announced the first that Merkel’s position is smart politics. McConnell, for example, has railed against Biden’s policy of “prescription drug socialism,” warning that it will result in the development of hundreds of fewer drugs. And House Republicans plan to hold a hearing later this month on how the IRA’s “price setting scheme means fewer cures for patients.”
Even if the next Republican presidential nominee sides with advisors who see drug price negotiation as a vulnerability for Biden, though, there are practical obstacles to repealing that provision of the IRA alone. The law uses savings that the federal government is due to get from negotiating lower prices to finance the caps on out-of-pocket costs that provide direct benefits to consumers, Conti noted. Any repeal effort that preserves the out-of-pocket caps would presumably require a substitute source of revenue.
“You can’t disentangle one part and leave the rest,” she said. “The Biden administration absolutely has the advantage.”