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Senate Democrats pass economic package that includes health care measures

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AP
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., gives a thumbs-up in his office after the Senate approved Democrats' big election-year economic package, in Washington, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.

President Biden is urging swift House passage, and the House seems on track to provide final congressional approval when it returns briefly from summer recess on Friday.

The Senate has approved Democrats' big election-year economic package that includes a measure allowing Medicare to negotiate the costs of some drugs.

The legislation is less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original domestic goals, but it embodies deep-rooted party dreams of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing big corporations.

Debate began Saturday and went around the clock into Sunday afternoon. Democrats had swatted down some three dozen Republican efforts to torpedo the legislation.

Biden is urging swift House passage, and the House seems on track to provide final congressional approval when it returns briefly from summer recess on Friday.

The bill allows Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs, and caps the cost of out-of-pocket costs people on Medicare pay to $2,000 per year, starting in 2025. The powerful pharmaceutical industry lobby has opposed this for years.

The bill also extends the subsidies for the Affordable Care Act that were part of a pandemic relief bill for three more years.

A cap on private insurance insulin costs did not make it into the final bill.

Click here to read more on this article from NPR.