Casten Votes to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) voted for the bipartisan H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill would finally provide Americans relief from skyrocketing drug prices by allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services the tools to negotiate lower prices, capping annual out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Part D, and reversing years of unfair price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare. As the lower drug costs negotiated in Medicare make their way to private health insurers, every American will save on their drug costs. This bill is long overdue.
By just negotiating prescription drug prices, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would save taxpayers $456 billion over the next ten years. Americans will see even more savings as those lower prices become available in their private health insurance plans. The bill also would reinvest some of the savings to provide dental, vision, and hearing benefits to seniors in Medicare, as well as, would provide funding for our Community Health Centers.
This bill lowers prescription drug prices for Americans and maintains America as an innovator of novel, lifesaving drugs. H.R. 3 would provide $9 billion to the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support medical research and the development of new drugs. Taxpayers funded research supported every one of the 210 drugs that were approved from 2010 to 2016, now, we must demand those drugs are affordable.
Yesterday, Casten spoke on the House floor highlighting a constituent’s story who has been impacted by the high prices of prescription drugs as well as the importance of H.R. 3. Earlier this month, Casten held a panel discussion in Barrington on lowering prescription drug prices.
To watch Casten’s Floor speech, click the image above or click here.
Casten said, “The soaring price of prescription drugs is crushing Americans at the pharmacy counter, driving up health insurance premiums, and creating unaffordable costs for taxpayers who finance Medicare and Medicaid. H.R. 3 is a commonsense piece of legislation that would empower Health and Human Services to negotiate the most expensive prescription drug costs. In the first year alone, drugs representing more than half of all Medicare Part D spending, covering tens of millions of patients, would be subject to the negotiation process – including insulin. I was proud to vote for H.R. 3 for the millions of patients, including thousands in my own district who are paying ridiculous prices for their lifesaving, necessary medication.”