President Biden cites his record of capping prescription drugs costs and vows to keep fighting for ‘fundamental fairness’

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden, third from right, greets supporters during a visit to a campaign field office in Manchester, N.H., on Monday.

President Joe Biden, third from right, greets supporters during a visit to a campaign field office in Manchester, N.H., on Monday. Evan Vucci / AP

President Joe Biden, third from right, is greeted by supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden, third from right, is greeted by supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden, third from right, is greeted by supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden, third from right, is greeted by supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden speaks during an event at a YMCA, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

President Joe Biden speaks during an event at a YMCA, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds) Josh Reynolds

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on lowering prices for American families during an event at the YMCA Allard Center, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden arrives at a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden arrives at a visit to a campaign field office, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden speaks during an event at a YMCA, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

President Joe Biden speaks during an event at a YMCA, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Goffstown, N.H. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds) Josh Reynolds

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 03-11-2024 6:31 PM

Sticking to the message that has sustained his presidency, Joe Biden made the case that working and middle-class Americans shouldn’t be forced to pay high costs for prescription drugs and healthcare while corporations and the wealthiest Americans use loopholes to pay less in taxes.

“A fair tax code is how we invest in things that make this country great: healthcare, education, defense and so much more,” Biden said during an official White House event at the Granite YMCA of Goffstown on Monday. “I’m going to keep fighting like hell to make it fair. … It’s about fundamental fairness.”

The visit was Biden’s first in New Hampshire in more than a year after he refused to put his name on the primary ballot — insisting that South Carolina hold the first Democratic primary. He still won the contest as a write-in candidate.

With polling showing that roughly two-thirds of Americans are still unaware of Biden’s work to cap prescription drug costs for people on Medicare and even fewer aware of a cap on insulin at $35 a month for seniors, the president cited his attempts at lowering costs for American families.

In Aug. 2022 when Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, it capped insulin costs for seniors at $35 per month beginning in 2023 and will institute a $2,000 per year limit on prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare beginning in 2025.

Now, he’s hoping to take it a step further, providing the same caps for all Americans, not just those on Medicare.

“If I got you on Air Force One with me and flew you to Toronto, to Berlin, to London, to Rome, any place in the world, it’s the same prescription you may have for whatever you need, no matter what it is, by the same company. … And guess what? It costs you between 40 and 60% less,” he said. “That’s a fact. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact.”

Take insulin, as an example. A 2021 study found that in 2018, the average price per vial for all types of insulin in the United States was $98.70. In Japan, it was $14.40; in Canada, it was $12.00; in the United Kingdom, it was $7.52.

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To pay for these proposals to expand these caps to all Americans, Biden honed in on continuing to reform the tax code to raise taxes on corporations; he repeated his vow to never raise federal taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

“I’m not anti-corporation. I represented the state of Delaware — more corporations incorporated in Delaware than every other state in America combined,” he said. “I’m a capitalist, man. Make all the money you want. Just begin to pay your fair share in taxes.”

In 2020, he noted, 55 of the largest companies in the country made $40 billion in profits but didn’t pay any corporate income taxes; his Inflation Reduction Act implemented a 15% corporate minimum tax. Not all 55 corporations are subject to the additional tax according to a CNN fact-check, as Biden claimed, but the new tax is still a shift in ensuring some corporations contribute federal income taxes.

Continuing to reform the tax code remains at the top of his priority list as he campaigns for a second term in office.

After his event in Goffstown, Biden stopped at his campaign field office in Manchester for a campaign event, as part of his 2024 re-election quest. He traveled to Pennsylvania and Georgia last week and will stop in Wisconsin and Michigan later this week, as the 2024 campaign shifts into high gear. 

Most of the president’s speech on Monday echoed statements he made in last week’s State of the Union Address, but he also made mention of former Arizona senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, someone Biden referred to as, “my buddy.”

Discussing the Affordable Care Act, Biden recalled McCain’s vote in July 2017 against repealing the signature law from Barack Obama’s presidency. 

“John loved New Hampshire,” Biden said, “and he still drives my predecessor crazy even though John is long gone. 

“That’s John.”

Biden made mention of his predecessor, Donald Trump, numerous times throughout, including a statement Trump made in an interview Monday morning on CNBC about Social Security and Medicare.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements,” Trump said.

Biden reiterated his commitment to protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare by raising taxes on the highest earners.

In closing, he made note of this week marking four years since the COVID-19 pandemic upended the world, while reminding people of how Trump handled the situation.

“Remember the anxiety and the fear? Record job losses? Raging virus that would take more than one million American lives and leave millions of loved ones behind?” Biden asked. “My predecessor failed the most basic duty a president owes the American people: the duty to care. I believe that’s unforgivable. I came to office determined to uphold the duty to care and get us through one of the toughest periods in our nation’s history, and we have.”

He continued on: “Investing in all America, in all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot,” he said. “Our plan is working, and America is coming back. Four years later, the pandemic no longer controls our lives. … (We’re) turning setback into a comeback. 

“That’s the American story.”