August 16, 2021

Retirees Applaud President Biden’s Forceful Call for Action to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

On Thursday, President Biden made remarks from the East Room of the White House to urge Congress to pass legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a policy the Alliance has been advocating for since its launch in 2001.

The President is also calling for a cap on out of pocket spending for Medicare beneficiaries, and spoke of his own mother’s difficulty paying for her prescriptions as she aged.

“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and older Americans bear the brunt of it. Our recent poll of voters age 65 and above found that 87% of seniors — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — overwhelmingly support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance.

“We know the pharmaceutical corporations will do everything they can to prevent Medicare from negotiating lower prices, as they have in the past,” Fiesta added. “Having President Biden so personally involved in this fight is a significant and welcome development.”

Medicare drug price negotiation was included in the $3.5 trillion budget resolution passed by the Senate this week. The framework also includes adding dental, hearing and vision benefits to Medicare, as well as funding to expand home health care and services for seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, it increases wages and benefits for caregiving workers. The next step is for Congressional committees to work out the details and then move the full legislation for a vote this fall.

“The budget resolution not only includes Medicare drug price negotiation and expanded Medicare benefits, it means that more older Americans and people with disabilities can receive care safely at home, rather than in an institution,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “It would also help the caregiving workforce who provide these critical services every day.”

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