February 05, 2019

State of the Union: Retirees Want Commitment on Lower Prescription Prices; Repudiation of Administration Officials Who Support Cuts to Social Security, Medicare

The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in advance of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:

“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Too many seniors are forced to choose between filling their prescriptions or paying for other basic needs while drug corporations are making record profits and benefitting from massive tax cuts. Retirees will listen closely for a solid commitment to address this growing problem.

“Seniors should not have to endure watching a three-card monte game between drug corporations, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurers while prices continue to skyrocket. The Administration’s plans to date will not significantly lower prices for most seniors. Any plan that does not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices the way that the Veterans Administration and Medicaid programs do will not truly bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

“In addition, the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USCMA) in its current form needs to be amended to fix the provisions regarding prescription drugs. As written, NAFTA 2.0 locks in high prices for name-brand prescription drugs by delaying the introduction of generic equivalents. The President should commit to amending these provisions in the USCMA to help bring drug prices down for consumers.

“Finally, we hope to hear the President reiterate his campaign promise not to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In light of the repeated calls for cuts to earned-benefits programs by officials in his administration — including Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council,  Kevin Hassett, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting White House Chief of Staff — it is critical for him to publicly restate his commitment to retirees.”  


Contact: Lisa Cutler – 202/637-5394 or lcutler@retiredamericans.org

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