Biden touts lower drug prices, campaigns for Tina Kotek in Portland visit

Published: Oct. 15, 2022 at 10:32 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - President Biden delivered a 25-minute speech Saturday to about 1,000 people at the East Portland Community Center during his weekend visit to Oregon.

Biden’s speech focused on the Inflation Reduction Act, which he signed into law in August. He emphasized provisions intended to lower drug prices for seniors on Medicare.

The new law allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, something Biden said will make a world of difference financially for many Americans.

“This year the American people won, and for the first time, big pharma lost,” Biden said. “Instead of that money going into the pockets of drug companies, it’s going into your pockets in the form of lower drug prices. There’s more money at the end of the month to pay those bills, get your car repaired, or buy your grandson a birthday gift.”

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Amber Cooper, with the Oregon Nurses Association, works with vulnerable populations including seniors and said she was moved by the president’s efforts.

“To hear that the president actually wants to try to help a lot more people get their prescription drugs covered and bring those costs down, is a very big deal,” Cooper said.

Biden also took shots at Congressional Republicans’ stance on the legislation.

“Every single Democrat in Congress voted for the inflation Reduction Act, and every single republican voted against it,” Biden said.

After his remarks, the president headed to a private campaign fundraiser for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek, who is polling neck-and-neck with Republican candidate Christine Drazan.

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Oregon Republicans in the state legislature stated their opposition to Biden’s visit and campaigning efforts for state races, such as the governor’s office.

“Inflation is hurting Oregonians as the price of groceries, the cost of rent and other everyday expenses rose significantly this past year,” the Republican state senators said in a statement. “Biden’s trip comes on the heels of Oregon being dubbed a battleground state this cycle after decades of democrat control…. [and] President Biden’s untimely trip to Oregon to bail out the democrats and lecture Oregonians on the state of the economy is ridiculous. …”

Biden returned to his home state of Delaware Saturday afternoon on Air Force One where he will spend the remainder of his weekend.