According to Politico, House Democrats polarized a once bipartisan issue by linking the session’s first bill to lower drug prices to measures aimed at strengthening Obamacare.
The proposal, which passed the House 234-183 on Thursday, drew harsh criticism from Republican Congressmen and is unlikely to pass through the Senate.
The legislation includes three provisions that limit anti-competitive behavior in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as proposals that eliminate a number of Trump policies intended to cripple the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats, who have made health care a key issue of their 2020 platform, said pairing the pricing and Obamacare provisions was a logical step. The drug pricing bills will save the government $4 billion in the next ten years, which can help offset large federal spending and help reverse cuts imposed by the administration, according to Politico.
“Health care, health care, health care. That is what is of concern to the American people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We’re continuing our drum beat on the prescription drug prices, on the pre-existing conditions,” she added.
The measures are not expected to have a dramatic effect on drug prices, but they are a first step to address the issue ahead of the upcoming elections, said Politico.