Issue Report
For Immediate Release: 
December 10, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Millions of Americans are burdened with skyrocketing drug prices that makes life-saving medication, including insulin and medication for cancer treatment, unaffordable. With H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, House Democrats are delivering on our promise to the American people to lower health care costs by addressing prescription drug prices.
 
AMERICANS ARE DEMANDING ACTION
TO ADDRESS PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES

Americans across the country are struggling with the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, forcing too many people to ration their medications or choose between buying their medications or paying for housing or groceries. Nearly one in four Americans taking prescription drugs find them difficult to afford, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In addition, patients in the U.S. pay much more than patients abroad for the same prescription drugs.
 
H.R. 3 LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR AMERICANS
 
H.R. 3 levels the playing field for American patients and will lower prescription drug prices by:
  • Giving Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies to bring down prices
  • Making the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance as well as those on Medicare
  • Creating a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for people on Medicare
H.R. 3 EXPANDS MEDICARE BENEFITS, INVESTS IN INNOVATION
 
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3 will save taxpayers approximately $500 billion over the next ten years. Those savings will be reinvested to:
  • Expand Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision, and hearing
  • Provide funding to the National Institutes of Health to search for new cures and treatments
  • Combat the opioid crisis and provide funding for children affected by the epidemic
  • Expand Community Health Centers and allow them to serve more Americans 
  • Address the maternal mortality and morbidity rate by expanding access to at-home visits and increasing resources for communities that are disproportionally impacted by high maternal mortality rates.
BROAD SUPPORT FOR THE LOWER DRUG COSTS NOW ACT
 
American Association of Retired Persons: “It is long past time for Congress to take action to rein in high drug prices. H.R. 3 will help ensure that more Americans have affordable access to the prescription drugs that they need to get and stay healthy. We look forward to working with you and all Members of Congress to pass legislation to lower drug prices and reduce seniors’ out-of-pocket costs this year.” [09/19/19]

Social Security Works: We are thrilled that H.R. 3 takes a bold first step toward lowering high prescription drug prices for all Americans and we look forward to continued improvements as this bill moves through the legislative process… The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 will help millions of Americans be better able to afford their prescribed medications.” [12/05/19]

Topher Spiro, Vice President for Health Policy and Senior Fellow at The Center of American Progress: “Nearly 9 in 10 Americans support empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and for years, President Donald Trump has promised to do just that. Now he’s signaled his opposition to legislation that would make it happen. President Trump may not be willing to keep his promise, but the House of Representatives should keep its promise by passing H.R. 3 and delivering for the people.” [12/06/19]
 
THE PRESIDENT SUPPORTS PROVISIONS OF H.R. 3
 
The President has previously said that he supports negotiating drug prices, a key provision of H.R. 3.

“When it comes time to negotiate the cost of drugs, we are going to negotiate like crazy.” [Wall Street Journal, 02/04/16]

“One common cancer drug is nearly seven times as expensive for Medicare as it is for other countries…This happens because the government pays whatever price the drug companies set without any negotiation whatsoever.” [Remarks, 10/25/18]

“…We want to bring our prices down to what other countries are paying, or at least close and let the other countries pay more. Because they're setting such low prices that we're actually subsidizing other countries, and that’s just not going to happen anymore.” [Remarks Before a Cabinet Meeting, 10/16/19]

Following House passage of this legislation, House Democrats will continue to call on President Trump and Senate Republicans to work with us to enact this legislation, so that we can lower prescription drug prices for the people.

Click here to read the PDF. 

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