70 Percent Of House Democrats Urge Biden To Include Medicare Negotiation In American Families Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, commenting on the letter from more than 155 House Democrats today calling on the White House to deliver on campaign promises to lower drug prices through Medicare negotiation as part of the American Families Plan:
“Today the message from Congress is clear: Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices must be a top priority this year. Over 155 members of Congress — 70 percent of the House Democratic Caucus — have now joined in calling on the president to make Medicare negotiation a part of the American Families Plan to bring relief to patients. Nine out of 10 Americans support Medicare negotiation, and momentum for its enactment is growing in Washington and across the country. We intend to help the president and supporters in Congress get it done this year.”
- The letter — which is signed by 70 percent of the House Democratic Caucus, including moderates, progressives, and more than one dozen frontliners running in the most competitive districts across the country — calls on the White House to lower the price of prescription drugs by empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices for all Americans, saving more than $450 billion over the next decade.
- The president promised to lower drug prices:
- “Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices,” President Biden said in his address to a joint session of Congress. “Let’s do it now.”
- The president re-affirmed his support for letting Medicare negotiate in his American Families Plan, which states, “President Biden has a plan to … lower prescription drug costs for everyone by letting Medicare negotiate prices.”
- H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, is a Medicare negotiation bill that was reintroduced in April and would:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and extend lower prices to all Americans with public or private sector insurance.
- Limit the negotiated price of drugs in Medicare to no more than 120 percent of the average of six other OECD nations.
- Limit annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries to no more than $2,000.
- End drug company price gouging by penalizing drug companies that increase prices in Medicare Parts B and D faster than the rate of inflation.
- Support innovation and new drug development by investing some of the expected savings into the world-class research supported by the National Institutes of Health.
- Patients support H.R. 3:
- Pro-reform forces, including AARP, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, and Protect Our Care, are mobilizing to meet the fury of Big Pharma opposition to Medicare negotiation head-on with thousands of letters and phone calls to members of Congress and millions of dollars in ads to support congressional allies.
- With Medicare negotiation, patients will pay less for their prescriptions and lives will be saved.
- Right now, more than 1.1 million Medicare patients could die over the next decade because they cannot afford to pay for their prescriptions.
- If Medicare were empowered to directly negotiate prices with drug companies, there could be 94,000 fewer deaths annually.
- Medicare negotiation is overwhelmingly popular — Americans want reform.
- Nine out of 10 Americans back Medicare negotiation, including 97 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of independents, and 84 percent of Republicans.
- Lowering the cost of prescription drugs and health care far outpolls even infrastructure investments as a priority for Americans.
- Nearly 90 percent of small business owners say that drug costs are too high. Medicare negotiation would save employers $195 billion and employees $61 billion from 2023 to 2029.
- Americans don’t buy Big Pharma’s main argument that lowering prices will stifle innovation, even when asked within the context of new vaccines.