Health and Science

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she plans to oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing bill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2019.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that she plans to vote against Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing plan, urging House Democratic leaders to take a more progressive stand on high health-care costs.

"As the bill stands, she plans on voting no," said Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Anika Legrand-Wittich.

The House is expected to vote this week on Pelosi's bill, a sweeping proposal that would allow the U.S. government to negotiate lower prices on the costliest drugs each year, among other changes. Pelosi and fellow House Democratic leaders have been working for months on a plan to reduce U.S. drug prices as health care remains a top issue for voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

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Some Democrats, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus, are threatening to stop the bill in hopes of pressuring leadership to add more dramatic changes.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would save Medicare $345 billion over a decade, while also keeping eight to 15 new drugs from coming to the market.