WASHINGTON — For the cadre of progressive groups fighting to bring down drug prices in a big way, this week was a massive setback.
The broad coalition, which includes consumer advocates, employers, and labor unions, was blindsided Wednesday when a trio of moderate House Democrats formally opposed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sweeping drug pricing package — a consequential move, since Democrats’ razor-thin majority means that even three opponents could force leadership to water down or abandon an otherwise popular policy.
The surprise opposition sent drug pricing reform proponents scrambling to fight back. In just two days, advocacy organizations are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars running attack ads against the lawmakers, hiring mobile billboards to highlight their vote against the package, and planning protests in New York, California, and Washington D.C. AARP alone is launching a $4 million advertising campaign in support of letting Medicare negotiate drug prices.
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