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Touting His Spending Bill, Biden Shifts Focus to Drug Prices


President Biden emphasized how the bill would lower prescription drug costs, an issue his administration hopes will build support for the broader package.
As Democrats race to finalize a sweeping social spending package, President Biden on Monday tried to sell the bill by focusing on a specific benefit: lowering the cost of insulin for those with diabetes. “I think it’s safe to say that all of us, all of us, whatever our background, our age, where we live, we can agree that prescription drugs are outrageously expensive in this country,” Mr. Biden said after he was introduced by a woman who said she had fallen into a coma after rationing her insulin. The president said one of the most “egregious examples” of the high prices of prescription drugs was how much those suffering from diabetes must pay for the medication they need. “Shame on us,” Mr. Biden said. “We can do better as a nation.” It was the latest attempt by the president to promote the package, which has been stuck in congressional gridlock. Mr. Biden previously sought to build support for the social policy bill by highlighting how it would create jobs, tax the rich and address the global threat of climate change. On Monday, he homed in on the ways the package would address prescription drug costs, an issue that the administration believes will appeal to a wide range of voters. But significant differences over the package must still be resolved, even as Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, insisted to his colleagues in a letter on Monday that the package would pass the Senate by Christmas.

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