Legislators work to lower prescription drug costs

U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn hailed House passage of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The landmark legislation passed the House on a bipartisan vote, 230-192 and is before the Senate for consideration. The bill gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies and extends those lower prices to Americans with private insurance as well.

“This is an important step toward providing American consumers more accessible and affordable prescription drugs,” Clyburn said. “This legislation will provide real price reductions that will put significant money back in the pocket of consumers.”

U.S. House Majority Whip James Clyburn

Negotiating lower prescription drug prices has the added benefit of cost savings to American taxpayers. A portion of those savings will be reinvested in the National Institutes of Health to research new cures and treatments.

The problem: U.S. drug prices are nearly four times higher than in similar countries

The solution: Legislation proposed includes:

Support expansion of Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision, and hearing needs and set a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for those on Medicare.

Fund provisions of Clyburn’s H.R. 1943, the Community Health Center and Primary Care Workforce Expansion Act of 2019.

Provide a $10 billion funding boost to community health centers, which serve 28 million Americans across the United States, including over 350,000 veterans, 8 million children and 1.4 million homeless patients.