Today’s bipartisan vote to pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Prices Now Act is a critical step in helping more patients get the prescription drugs they need to be healthy. For the first time ever, this law would give the government the power to negotiate lower drug prices for millions of seniors and people with disabilities covered by Medicare and people with private insurance coverage. H.R. 3 holds drug corporations accountable for price-gouging patients in order to inflate their profits, saves patients and their families money, and makes better use of our taxpayer dollars. Medicare alone would save $456 billion over the next decade, which would fund a historic expansion of benefits to include dental, vision and hearing coverage and help low-income seniors pay out-of-pocket costs.
Americans have heard a lot of promises from lawmakers about lowering the price of prescription drugs, but actions speak louder than words. Today, 320 members voted to stand up to Big Pharma by passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, while 192 legislators voted to protect Pharma profits.
Now it’s time for Senator Mitch McConnell to show constituents which side he’s on when it comes to this issue. He should follow the example set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, heed millions of Americans clamoring for bold reforms to lower drug prices and give this bill an immediate vote in the Senate. As long as he refuses to support Medicare negotiations, millions of Americans will continue to go without the medicines they need.
President Trump should also keep his promise to lower drug prices rather than supporting tweaks and half-measures that protect Big Pharma’s profits and allow drug corporations to continue inflating prices, while patients are forced to choose between prescriptions and paying the rent. Instead of holding big Pharma accountable, President Trump continues to reward their price-gouging with massive tax breaks under his 2017 tax law. He should take a lesson from today’s vote on HR 3 and put Americans’ health care ahead of corporate greed.