Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices

Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices

Some new momentum for the Grassley-Wyden drug pricing bill: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) on Tuesday announced her support.

Why it matters: Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who also faces a tough campaign this year, endorsed the bill last week, meaning with Ernst there are now two GOP senators in competitive races endorsing the bill, helping to lend some energy to the effort.

However: The bill still faces tough prospects given that many Republican senators object to one of its key provisions, which would limit drug price increases in Medicare to the rate of inflation. GOP critics denounce it as a “price control.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) acknowledged last week that Senate Republicans have “internal divisions” on the bill and declined to say whether it would get a vote.

There is also a question of whether Democrats would make a deal on one of their signature campaign issues when they are pushing for a stronger bill from House Democrats, which Republicans have widely dismissed.

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