WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden teamed up with Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday to promote his administration’s efforts to lower the cost of inhalers and other health care needs, as the White House continues its effort to highlight Biden’s legislative achievements to voters ahead of the November elections.

“Bernie, you and I have been fighting this for 25 years,” Biden said to Sanders during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House. “Finally, finally we beat Big Pharma. Finally.”

Both men touted the lower health care costs that come through the Democrats’ sweeping climate, health care and tax package that Biden signed into law in 2022. It caps various health care costs for those on Medicare, including $35 a month for insulin and $2,000 a year for prescription drugs. No Republican lawmakers voted for the law.

His aides and Democratic officials say Biden’s achievements such as lowering health care costs are popular with the public, yet the incumbent president hasn’t yet gotten the credit from voters. Sanders has a loyal following that supports his calls to reign in medical costs in the U.S. and give the government more control over the health care industry.

The top drugmaker lobby called Biden’s comments Wednesday a “missed opportunity,” saying he failed to address how some other industries, like health insurance companies, are also driving up the cost of medications.

Both Biden and Sanders also promoted their recent efforts to pressure most major inhaler manufacturers to cap the costs of the devices to no more than $35 a month. Otherwise, the purchase price of inhalers ranges somewhere between $200 to $600 without insurance, according to the White House. Manufacturers have said the price changes will take effect later this year or at the beginning of next year.

“I want to thank President Biden for what he has done on this issue up to now, and I look forward to working with the president as we go forward,” Sanders said.

Sanders, a Vermont independent, and Biden were rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. After Sanders ended his bid, his aides worked with Biden campaign officials to craft a party policy platform that would reflect Sanders’ influence.


Associated Press writers Seung Min Kim and Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.

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