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Pills scattered on $100 bills There is some difference between liberals and moderates on how far to push the drug industry for savings, but the consensus is that drugs cost too much and the government needs to step in. (Photo: Shutterstock)

One of the few surprises in President Joe Biden’s social safety-net proposal, the American Families Plan, was something that didn’t make it into the final version: any mention of reining in the price of prescription drugs.

The American Families Plan, the second part of Biden’s expansive “infrastructure” agenda, includes sweeping programs aimed at boosting access to child care, higher education and paid family leave. But despite White House signals in March that health also would be a major part of the package, the only health proposal was one that would make permanent the temporary subsidy increases, passed as part of the covid relief bill earlier this spring, on insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges.

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