Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for and the House passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation that would lower prescription drug prices and level the playing field for American patients and taxpayers. The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act:
- Gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need.
- Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
- Limits the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs.
- Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare.
- Extends Medicare coverage for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing.
Included in this legislation is Rep. Kind’s Better Transparency in Information for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2019, which will increase transparency by providing notice to seniors when less expensive Medicare prescription drug plans are available to them and was introduced earlier this year.
“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to relieving the burden of prescription drug prices for thousands of Wisconsinites, and millions of Americans. I am proud to vote for a bill that will help level the playing field so folks can pay fair prices for the prescription drugs they need without sacrificing other necessities,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “It is now up to the Senate to pass this important legislation so that seniors can find a prescription drug plan they can afford.”
“Drug companies are price-gouging older Americans and taxpayers– who pay the highest drug costs in the world,” said Lisa Lamkins AARP Wisconsin Associate State Director for Advocacy. “AARP is proud to support H.R. 3, which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cap out-of-pocket costs for Part D enrollees. The bill also enhances Medicare by improving access and adding needed dental, hearing, and vision coverage. AARP applauds Congressman Kind and his colleagues for passing H.R. 3 and working to provide relief for older Americans struggling to afford needed medications and services.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act will lower prescription drug costs by $492 billion spending over ten years.
The legislation passed through the House with bipartisan support, 230-192.