Rep. Kuster Applauds Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded her Democratic colleagues in the House for introducing H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Rep. Kuster has joined as a co-sponsor of the bill, which 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. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, Rep. Kuster will take part in a hearing on this legislation next week on Wednesday, September 25.
“I continue to hear from Granite Staters who are anxious and worried about being able to afford their medications as the cost of prescription drugs continues to rise,” said Rep. Kuster. “This legislation is part of our commitment to making drugs more affordable. No American should be forced to make the impossible choice between medications they need and necessities like groceries or rent. I’m proud to support this commonsense and much-needed legislation, and I will continue my efforts to ensure all Americans can access quality, affordable health care.”
The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will:
- End the ban on Medicare negotiating directly with the drug companies, and create 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.
- 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. In May at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing, Kuster questioned Dr. Mark Miller, Executive Vice President of Health Care at Arnold Ventures, about the impact greater transparency in drug pricing and direct negotiation by Medicare would have on the affordability of prescription drugs. 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.