Cap on drug price hikes for privately insured sparks battle

WASHINGTON (AP) — Workers and families with private health insurance would reap savings on prescription drugs from a little-noticed provision in President Joe Biden’s social agenda bill. Drug companies would have to pay rebates to Medicare if they increase prices above the rate of inflation. Business groups are paying close attention, and the issue has divided them in a fierce lobbying battle. Groups focused on affordable employee benefits want to keep the bill’s current language, which provides price-increase protection for people with private insurance as well as Medicare enrollees. Better-known groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are backing the pharmaceutical industry’s drive to strip it out.