Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will finally give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies and makes the lower prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance. In Iowa’s Second Congressional District, there are 115,293 people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 566,387 people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from the passage of this legislation. Additionally, the cost savings from H.R. 3 will be reinvested back into both Medicare, to expand the benefits provided to include comprehensive dental, vision and hearing coverage for senior citizens, and for research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to accelerate the search for the next scientific breakthrough.
“It is past time that Medicare is able to negotiate with drug companies, similar to what the Veterans Administration has been doing for years. These negotiated prices will then be passed along to Iowans who have private healthcare insurance. I am also very pleased that the cost savings contained in this bill will be reinvested back into Medicare to give Iowa’s seniors needed dental, vision and hearing coverage, and expand research at the NIH.
“No family should have to sit at their kitchen table and have to decide between putting food on the table and paying for their prescriptions. This historic legislation takes the necessary steps to ensure that conversation does not have to happen. Along with many other bills, it is time for the Senate to step up, debate and pass this legislation to help families across the country.”
The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would lower drugs costs and expand benefits:
- Give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies to bring down prices and create powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions.
- Make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance too, not just those on Medicare.
- Stop drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs by limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug.
- Create a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for people on Medicare.
- Save taxpayers approximately $500 billion over the next ten years and reinvest that savings into:
-Expanding Medicare benefits to cover things like dental, vision and hearing,
-Combatting the addiction crisis, and
-Researching new cures and treatments.
- Independent experts found the Lower Drug Costs Now Act would:
-Save American households $120 billion.
-Save private businesses more than $40 billion.
-Save taxpayers approximately $500 billion and reinvests that savings to expand benefits.
H.R. 3 is supported by a wide variety of groups and associations, including:
AARP, Alliance for Retired Americans, AFL-CIO, SEIU, UAW, Catholic Health Association of the United States, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), Medicare Rights Center, Voices for Progress (V4P) and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.