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Kyrsten Sinema fights for affordable healthcare and lower drug prices, even as Joe Manchin claims she waited two years

“We had a senator from Arizona who helped block much-needed progress on trade deals,” Manchin said in a Friday roundtable.

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On Friday, Joe Manchin criticized Krysten Sinema, saying that she slowed down the Democrats’ efforts to reform drug pricing.

He explained, “We had an Arizona senator who essentially didn’t let us go as far as we needed to.”

The senator misspoke, according to a representative for Manchin who addressed the media after the meeting.

Friday, Senator Joe Manchin criticized Senator Kyrsten Sinema, accusing her of delaying the Democrats’ efforts to reform prescription drug pricing.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, providing a major victory for Democrats. The White House’s hopes for healthcare reform, tax cuts, and alternative energy initiatives were all given a new lease on life thanks to the massive spending package. One senator who was instrumental in getting the package through is now complaining that some of his preferred amendments were left out.

Manchin mentioned the Republican party’s elimination of the $35 cap on insulin for private insurance in a roundtable discussion.

Then we had an Arizona senator who basically wouldn’t let us negotiate as far as we needed to for two years,” Manchin said. “Things of that nature… Never have I questioned anyone. This is a response from everyone to their own base of supporters. Of course, we did acquire some benefit.”

It appears that Manchin was referring to Sinema when he made this statement. Sinema is the lone remaining IRA holdout among Senate Democrats, and she has taken a more moderate stance toward pharmaceuticals reform. A representative for Manchin said that the senator made an error in judgment during the discussion.

Manchin’s quote was tweeted, and Sinema responded with a link to a statement she made in November 2021 in which she explained why she supported a previous Medicare drug negotiation provision.

After the war in Ukraine caused energy prices to skyrocket, Manchin discussed his reasoning for passing the legislation.

“After the BBB was eliminated, we were left in a state of uncertainty that lasted all the way to April. It all started in April, when inflation became so severe that it threatened the lives of every person in the United States. As a matter of fact, we need to do that “Manchin, who has been vocal about the need to lower inflation, said he would not support a larger spending package for this very reason.

All 50 Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris ultimately voted in favor of the bill, and it was able to pass the Senate through party-line budget reconciliation. A week ago, the House unanimously (along party lines) approved the bill.

The biggest roadblocks for Democrats trying to pass a scaled-down version of Biden’s Build Back Better spending package were Senators Manchin and Sinema. Late in July, the West Virginia senator changed his mind after reaching an agreement with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to change the bill’s focus from fighting inflation to reducing the deficit.

In the subsequent week, Sinema was still the lone holdout among Democratic senators. Once upon a time, the Arizona senator was reluctant to close a tax loophole that primarily benefited private equity and hedge fund managers. Once Democrats agreed to abandon the tax-code update and retain the loophole in early August, Sinema joined the 49 other senators in their support of the plan.