The House passed a landmark bill last week, that if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President, would lower skyrocketing drug prices in this country by authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices on some medications.
“I’m so proud of the work progressive members, backed by grassroots advocates and organizations, did to ensure the Lower Drug Costs Now Act will live up to its name—and provide real relief to American families. Our effort to strengthen this bill is a huge win for the American people, and it shows what progressives can do when we stick together.”Representative Pramila Jayapal WA-7
Here’s a summary of the bill from the Alliance for Retired Americans‘ Press Release shared with us by our HCHR-WA Sponsoring Organization, WA Alliance for Retired Americans:
Bill Requires Medicare to Negotiate Lower Prices and Caps Annual Out of Pocket Spending for Medicare Beneficiaries
Members of the Alliance for Retired Americans are cheering the passage of the landmark “Lower Drug Costs Now Act” in the House of Representatives today. The bill, H.R. 3, will lower skyrocketing drug prices by:
- Requiring Medicare to negotiate drug prices on the 250 highest priced drugs, including insulin
- Making the lower negotiated drug prices available to ALL insured Americans, not just seniors
- Capping annual out of pocket expenses for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000
- Using the savings to expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, dental and vision
“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and seniors are bearing the brunt of this burden,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Today 230 members of the House of Representatives stood up to pharmaceutical corporations and said ‘enough is enough.’”
This is a very big deal and there is a lot of great analysis about HR 3:
- Watch: The House Approved H.R. 3, The Pelosi Drug Bill. What Does That Mean?, PBS-Kaiser Health News
- Vox. com political analysis chronicling how Progressives played a major role in shaping the final version of the legislation.
- Learn about Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7) and the Progressive Caucus’ fight to expand the scope of the bill and the concessions they won.
And finally — Well done, Mike Andrews and Robby Stern of PSARA! In its November newsletter, HCHR Sponsoring organization Puget Sound Advocate for Retirement Action published this article on Big Pharma’s campaign to defeat HR 3 in their November newsletter, scooping the story published December 3 by the New York Times about participation by some labor unions in Pharma’s campaign, despite very broad labor support for HR 3.