One of the most important provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, passed with only Democratic votes in the U.S. House last summer, was this one: After decades of prior attempts, it finally allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to actively negotiate the price of at least some prescription drugs. As explained by the Kaiser Family Foundation:
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the Act), signed into law by President Biden in August 2022, includes several provisions to lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and reduce drug spending by the federal government. One of the Act’s key drug-related policies is a requirement for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate prices with drug companies for certain drugs covered under Medicare Part D (starting in 2026) and Part B (starting in 2028). This new requirement is the culmination of years of debate among lawmakers over whether to grant the federal government the authority to negotiate drug prices in Medicare.