After weeks of negotiating, Democrats have written paid family and medical leave back into the reconciliation bill, along with a plan to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices — but the bill now includes caveats weakening the proposals from their original forms.
Wednesday will see Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker (D-California), and House Democrats. announced that paid leave has been included in the House version of the plan “at the urging of many Members of the Caucus.” The proposal only includes four weeksThe leave granted for serious medical conditions or childbirth was reduced from 12 weeks. This cut was likely to be made to appease conservative Democrats who opposed the idea.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who was responsible for the proposal’s removal from the original framework for the bill, is not satisfied with the change. Manchin said that even though the provisions are weaker than what was originally proposed, he regards their inclusion as a threat. “That’s a challenge, very much a challenge,” he told reporters. However, he claims that he wants to support paid leave, he has blamed restrictions of the reconciliation process for his opposition — despite the fact that the parliamentarian has not ruled out the proposal.
Manchin is likely to simply oppose the idea. He has previously opposed numerous other proposals in the bill which aimed to strengthen the social security net for the working and middle classes. This week He moaned the price of the bill, which he’s already succeeded in hacking in half, despite his support for allocating billions toward fossil fuel subsidies, and his silence on The SALT tax deduction cap was repealed..
If the House passes the bill without paid leave, the Senate may be able to write the proposal to appease Manchin. It’s likely that the lawmaker will refuse to support any paid leave proposal, no matter how meager; last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) suggested a version of the proposal that would just allow parents of newborns to receive the paid leave benefit, but Manchin rejected that too. He has bizarrely suggested that lawmakers attach a work requirement to the benefit — even though by definition, workers must already have a job in order to take leave from it.
On the other hand, the prescription drug price plan may have better prospects. On Tuesday, Democrats announced a deal to lower drug prices. This proposal is significantly weaker that the one Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vermont) proposed. SuggestionsThis is how Democrats got Sen. Kyrsten Silena (D-Arizona), to support the idea earlier in the year.
While the original proposal did not place any restrictions on the drugs Medicare could negotiate prices for, the new plan would. only allow MedicareNegotiate prices for 10 drugs before 2025, and 20 per yr after 2028. Prices of drugs that are under exclusivity periods of 9 to 12 years would not be eligible for negotiation — an especially restrictive clause since pharmaceutical companies often make small tweaks to drug formulasTo keep certain drugs secret for a long time.
Sinema, perhaps because of its limited availability, is who? enjoys close relationships with the massive pharmaceutical lobby, supports the new proposal, calling it “historic” and saying that it will help Americans access medications. The former plan would have allowed more Americans to access the drugs they need to survive. Her staunch opposition to the plan negates her statement about the new one.