Rep. Cartwright Statement on Upcoming Vote to Lower Drug Costs for Americans
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) issued the following statement on the upcoming House of Representatives floor vote on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3), which is expected to be held next week.
“It’s unfair that lifesaving prescription medicines cost nearly four times as much in America,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This inequity has put too many American families into debt or robbed them of their life savings. We are, therefore, taking decisive action to enable Medicare to negotiate with big pharmaceutical companies, which will help lower drug prices for our nation’s older adults and individuals with disabilities, as well as all Americans with private insurance. This is a common-sense solution to one of our biggest health care crises.”
Background on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act
In just the first six months of 2019, prescription drug companies increased the list prices of more than 3,400 drugs. Among those drugs, price hikes averaged nearly five times the rate of inflation. These soaring prices are crushing Americans at the pharmacy counter, driving up health insurance premiums, and creating unaffordable costs for taxpayers who finance Medicare and Medicaid.
The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate lower prices for up to 250 of the most expensive and commonly used drugs. It would also cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000.
In Pennsylvania, there are 2.1 million people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 7.4 million people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from the passage of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.