Dear Colleague on H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act
Dear Democratic Colleague,
This week, House Democrats will bring to the Floor the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act: historic legislation to lower prescription drug prices and the most transformational expansion of Medicare since its creation.
All together, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act will deliver life-changing savings for patients, employers and taxpayers. Medicare will have the power to negotiate lower drug prices and make those prices available to people with private insurance. No longer will Americans have to pay more for their prescriptions than what Big Pharma charges in other countries for the same medicines.
We are reinvesting the more than half a trillion dollars the federal government alone saves from lower drug prices to expand Medicare to cover vision, dental and hearing for the first time. We add billions to the search for breakthrough cures and treatments, confronting the opioid epidemic, strengthening our community health centers, and more.
Members’ input has been very important in the construction of this landmark legislation. Since the beginning of the bill, we moved from binding arbitration to direct negotiations, increased the bare minimum number of drugs negotiated per year to 35, and created a new Emergency Negotiations mechanism to further address potential price gouging in launch prices of new treatments. We have also included a feasibility study to determine whether the Medicare inflation rebates could also be extended to cover private insurance.
Factsheets are available to showcase the transformational impact that H.R. 3 will have on drug prices and dental, vision and hearing benefits in Medicare, district by district.
We have been very pleased with the outpouring of support for H.R. 3 from health care advocates, labor, business and seniors advocacy groups, including the AARP. The AARP letter of endorsement is attached.
In our For The People agenda, Democrats said we would lower the cost of health care by lowering the cost of prescription drugs. We will do so when we pass this transformative legislation this week For The People.
Thank you for your leadership.