Senators to debate drug prices

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The Senate Finance Committee is expected to consider legislation targeting Medicare prescription drug costs after the spring recess.

At issue is whether the Department of Health and Human Services should negotiate with drug companies to lower costs. The House in January passed such a bill (H.R. 4). The Senate could pass a less strict measure.

Senate Republican leaders, who opposed such a bill, are gearing up for a fight, according to CongressDaily. Such a measure could affect nursing homes. States are expected to pay the government for the difference in what the federal government is paying for drugs for dual eligibles, many of whom are facility residents, and what states paid before the implementation of the drug benefit.