Kuster Helps to Advance Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Prices, Bill Now Headed to House Floor
Rep. Kuster Speaking in Support of H.R. 3 in the Energy and Commerce Committee Markup.
Washington, D.C. – Last night, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, helped to advance H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, in the Committee’s 10 hour-long markup of the legislation. The Maximizing Drug Coverage for Low-Income Seniors Act, legislation that Rep. Kuster helped to introduce last week, was also included in H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which is now headed to the House floor. This legislation would significantly lower the price of prescription drugs in the United States by enabling the federal government to directly negotiate drug prices for Medicare and the entire U.S. health system. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates this bill will save over $345 billion in Medicare spending.
“I continue to hear from Granite Staters who tell me that the high cost of their prescription drugs is an ongoing source of worry and anxiety for them and their families,” said Rep. Kuster. “No one should be forced to make choices between paying for their medications and other necessities like rent or groceries. This legislation will help fulfil our promise to the American people to make drugs more affordable and will save money for seniors and taxpayers. I’m proud to help advance this commonsense measure and I look forward to supporting the Lower Drug Costs Now Act on the floor of the House.”
The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will:
- Empower Medicare to negotiate directly with the drug companies, and create powerful new tools to bring drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need.
- Make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to all Americans, including those with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
- Stop drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs, limiting 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 – and admit they still make a profit.
- Create a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverse years of unfair price hikes above inflation across more than 8,000 drugs in Medicare.
- Reinvest in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments, using some of the savings from lowering the unjustified drug prices that are bankrolling Big Pharma’s stock-buybacks to reinvest billions of dollars in the search for new breakthrough treatments and cures at NIH.
Rep. Kuster has been a long-time proponent of lowering the cost of prescription drugs and has called for legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to reduce prescription drug prices. Kuster has made clear the need to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and has put forward solutions to improve access to affordable health care. Her legislation, the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in May.