Progressives Blast Manchin’s Hypocrisy in Calling for Lower Drug Prices

Progressives in and beyond Congress took aim at Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday after the West Virginia Democrat infamous for blocking his own party’s priorities took to Twitter to call for lowering prescription drug prices.

Manchin shared a photo with elderly residents. said that “by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month, and allowing the importation of drugs from Canada, we can lower prescription drug prices in America. We must take action and keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors.”

Critics quickly noticed the tweets and pointed out that Manchin had prevented the passage the Build Back Better Act (BBB Act), which was a comprehensive package that was approved by House Democrats last January. included various drug pricing reforms.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.) responded to the senator tweeted that “you literally killed the bill to do this.”

Qasim Rahhid, human rights attorney told Manchin that his demands are “all things you voted against when you blocked the BBB,” and “it’s mind-blowing that you would tweet this when you’re the reason Americans don’t have this.”

Warren Gunnels was the majority staff director of Senator Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and was similarly critical.

“What a phony. We failed to keep our promises for seniors because [Manchin] sabotaged the Build Back Better Act and refuses to end the filibuster,” said Gunnels. “In Joe’s world, protecting the filibuster is more important than protecting seniors. No wonder billionaires love him.”

“If Manchin didn’t sabotage Build Back Better, Medicare would be negotiating with the pharmaceutical industry to lower drug prices, insulin would be capped at $35 a month, and Medicare would be expanded to provide dental, vision, and hearing to seniors,” he added. “Promises made. Promises broken.”

Sanders himself blasted During a televised interview, Manchin and fellow obstructionist Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona MSNBC earlier this month, accusing the pair of sabotaging President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Despite Manchin’s support for reducing prescription costs, suggesting While he has indicated that he would consider a more modest package to help advance climate action, drug price reforms, or higher taxes on the wealth, no concrete proposals have been made public.

NPR Asma Khalid, White House correspondent noted that Manchin’s tweets followed Biden’s Monday opinion piece For The Wall Street Journal on his administration’s plan to fight inflation, which said that “we can reduce the price of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and capping the cost of insulin.”

Troy Miller, a West Virginia organizer of Social Security Works demanded His senator took action on Tuesday.

“It’s been six months since we rallied for you to vote for these provisions as part of BBB,” Miller said. “And in the meantime, people have died because they couldn’t afford meds. Bring a bill forward!”