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"Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the controversial Arizona Democrat who threatens to derail President Biden's legislative agenda, received more than $750,000 in donations from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. After that, she announced her opposition to a Democratic plan to lower prescription drug costs.
Sinema told White House officials that she opposes House and Senate bills that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug costs, sources told Politico this week. Democrats estimate these bills would save $450 billion over the next decade and thereby pay for a large portion of President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion spending plan. The budget bill would expand child care, health care and paid family leave and would fund programs to combat climate change, among other measures. Three House Democrats have also balked at the plan, although they have offered a "centrist" alternative that would drastically limit which drugs are subject to Medicare negotiation. Sinema reportedly opposes that proposal as well. During her successful 2018 Senate campaign, Sinema repeatedly vowed to lower prescription drug prices and drug costs for seniors.
Sinema is a longtime favorite of the pharmaceutical industry and now appears ready to undermine Biden's entire agenda as Big Pharma wages a lobbying blitz in hopes of torpedoing the bill, which nearly 90% of voters support. Sinema and several House Democrats who oppose the drug pricing plan have received major financial support from the industry. Given a 50-50 Senate and a narrow House majority of 220 to 212 (with three seats currently vacant), their opposition could sink the proposal or even the entire budget bill."
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