December 12, 2019

Retirees Welcome House Passage of the Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act

Bill Requires Medicare to Negotiate Lower Prices and Caps Annual Out of Pocket Spending for Medicare Beneficiaries

Members of the Alliance for Retired Americans are cheering the passage of the landmark “Lower Drug Costs Now Act” in the House of Representatives today. The bill, H.R. 3, will lower skyrocketing drug prices by:

  • Requiring Medicare to negotiate drug prices on the 250 highest priced drugs, including insulin
  • Making the lower negotiated drug prices available to ALL insured Americans, not just seniors
  • Capping annual out of pocket expenses for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000
  • Using the savings to expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, dental and vision

“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and seniors are bearing the brunt of this burden,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Today 230 members of the House of Representatives stood up to pharmaceutical corporations and said ‘enough is enough.’”

“H.R. 3 will help retirees enjoy longer, healthier lives with less financial anxiety,” added Fiesta. “Negotiating drug prices will save taxpayers billions of dollars and help ensure that no retiree has to choose between filling a prescription and putting food on their table.”

“The savings in this bill will be used to add critical benefits to Medicare — including dental, hearing and vision — and provide more funding for crucial medical research. However, our work is not done,” Fiesta continued. “We call on the Senate to pass this legislation without delay.”

Alliance members have pressed Congress to pass H.R. 3. Jim Riordan, a member of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans and AFSCME Retirees, joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference. He said passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act would change his life. Riordan receives Xolair injections to treat his asthma at a cost of $24,000 per month. Medicare pays 80%, leaving him with a $4,800 bill each month. To save money he only takes half of his dosage, putting his health at risk.

“Our members have worked to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices for more than 15 years. They are energized to fight to get this legislation passed in the Senate and signed into law,” said Fiesta. “We thank Speaker Pelosi for her leadership in bringing us this historic moment. The entire House leadership team has worked tirelessly for this bill and we are grateful for their efforts.”

To speak to a retiree in your area, please contact David Blank at dblank@retiredamericans.org 

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Contact: David Blank, 202-637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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