Blister pack with dollars instead of pills One proposed alternative that could comply with the Byrd rule is to impose an excise tax on drug companies that set prices in the employer market above the negotiated rate. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A plan by Senate Democrats to lower prescription drug prices may not include the roughly 150 million people with employer-provided health insurance, “The Hill” reported.

The secretary of Health and Human Services would be allowed to negotiate lower drug prices under the legislation, which is part of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending package. The House bill would apply these prices not only to seniors on Medicare but also to workers who get health insurance through their employers. In the Senate, however, the so-called “Byrd rule” requires that provisions have a sufficient impact on the federal budget. Lowering drug prices for people with private insurance does not have as direct of an impact on the federal budget as lowering Medicare prices.

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