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Rep. Cartwright and Advocates Highlight Anniversary of Affordable Care Act and the Need to Lower Drug Prices

Twelve years after the ACA was signed into law, Pennsylvanians have access to quality, affordable health care

Scranton, PA –U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) today was joined by local partners and Protect Our Care Pennsylvania to celebrate the twelve-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and to continue discussions on lowering prescription drug costs.

The Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, has lowered costs and expanded access to care nationwide. The historic legislation also eliminated lifetime caps, secured protections for millions of individuals living with pre-existing conditions, and provided greater financial stability to rural hospitals, like those right here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, to help keep their doors open.

“For twelve years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the key to health coverage for millions of working families, seniors and people with pre-existing conditions,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Over the next several months, I will be working with my Congressional colleagues to see to it that these ACA enhancements are made permanent.”

Americans need better and cheaper access to quality prescription drugs. Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices of any developed nation in the world. The total annual spending on prescription drugs exceeds $450 billion in the United States, and this number is projected to rise. The average American spends $1,200 on prescription drugs annually, and the average cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is nearly twice as high as any other industrialized nations.

“In the wealthiest nation in the world, it is unacceptable that anyone should have to choose between paying for their prescription drugs and putting food on the table,” said Rep. Cartwright. “That’s why I’m a cosponsor of H.R. 3, Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and voted for legislation to lower the high costs of the things that keep Americans up at night -- like prescription drug costs in the Build Back Better Act. At the end of the day, I will continue working together to get these prescription drug provisions passed in whatever form necessary because they are too important to ignore.”

Rep. Cartwright was joined today by Joanne Grossi, AARP Pennsylvania State President, Maureen Guesto, Constituent from Mountain Top, and members from Protect Our Care Pennsylvania. Protect Our Care Pennsylvania has long been engaged in advocacy efforts to lower health care and prescription drug costs.

“Americans are fed up with paying three times what people in other countries pay for the same drugs,” said AARP Pennsylvania Volunteer State President Joanne Grossi. “We know that there will never be a better time to lower drug prices than the historic opportunity that is before Congress today. Right now, the ball is in the Senate’s court and every day without action comes at the cost of older Americans and taxpayers.” 

"Last year, we spent over $3,000 for the medications that keep my husband healthy,” said Maureen Guesto, Mountain Top. “He would like to retire, but we're worried about whether we'll be able to afford the medicines we both need, especially when we enroll in Medicare later this year. After a lifetime of work, we should be able to enjoy our retirement, not live in fear of what it will cost to get the medications we need to live a healthy life."