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WASHINGTON — Medicare coverage for prescription drugs will look very different when President Biden signs into law the new reforms congressional Democrats passed in their major domestic policy package.

One provision would lower what Medicare pays for medications that have been available for several years, but still are costly. Another is intended to make drug prices more predictable over time. It would also put in place some long-awaited cost protections for Medicare patients.


Each policy has been shaped over the past 16 months by haggling between Democratic leadership and moderate lawmakers, by clashes with Senate rules, and by years of policy deliberations. Here’s a breakdown of what’s about to change, and when.

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