Monthly Archives

August 2021

NEW REPORT: Drug Companies on the Wrong Side of the Drug Pricing Issue Launch Campaign of Big Lies and Fake Front Groups

Washington, DC — As Democrats in Congress work to respond to their constituents and pass reforms that lower the price of prescription drugs for patients, Big Pharma has begun to deploy it’s vast warchest – and a series of well-funded front groups – to mislead, distort and outright threaten patients in their effort to hold on to their staggering prices and profits.

For 20 years, drug companies have benefited from a law that bans Medicare from negotiating lower prices for patients. As a result, Americans now pay three times more for the same drugs as people do in other countries. Democrats in Congress want to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for all Americans, including people on Medicare and people with private insurance. The Congressional Budget Office found that these reforms could save patients as much as 55 percent on the price of their prescription drugs.

So, like clockwork, Big Pharma has started launching misleading ad campaigns. Almost all of them are channeled through groups with patient-friendly names that have one thing in common: drug industry money or connections.

This new report details how the many major ad campaigns currently running against prescription drug price reform are actually backed by pharmaceutical industry funds. The ads are paid for by the same people who profit by keeping the prices artificially high and protecting their monopoly while millions of American families cannot afford life saving medicines.

“From this report, everyone can find out the truth about who’s behind these ad campaigns –  and it’s the same drug companies that want to keep prices high and profits skyrocketing,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “Members of Congress can either vote with these drug companies or vote for reforms that lower the price of drugs for patients. Lives are on the line.”

Read the full report here: REVEALED: 8 PHARMA FUNDED AD CAMPAIGNS

Week Three: Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour Traveled to West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida

U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), and along with State and Local Elected Officials Headlined “Lower Costs, Better Care” Events in Four States

Washington, DC — On the third week of Protect Our Care’s 8,600-mile, 36-event, 19-state “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour, “Care Force One” made stops in four states to demonstrate the urgent need to lower health costs including for drugs and insurance premiums, expand coverage, and reduce racial disparities in care. During each stop, national and local elected officials, including U.S. Representatives Val Demings (D-FL-10), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), headlined events alongside health care advocates and storytellers promoting the work of President Biden and their Democratic colleagues who are leading the charge to advance American health care. Next week, the tour continues in Colorado, Arizona, California, and Nevada. 

Watch All Bus Tour Stops Here

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA:

Protect Our Care was joined by Senator Richard Lindsay, Delegate Mike Pushkin, Delegate Kayla Young, patient advocate Mindy Salango, and Health Care Voter’s Executive Director Laura Packard, at the West Virginia State Capitol. 

Coverage

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA:

In Moore Square, Protect Our Care held a press conference with Senator Jay Chaudhuri,

Senator Natalie Murdock, NC AFL-CIO President Mary-Be McMillan, Raleigh-Apex NAACP President Gerald Givens, and Laura Packard.

Coverage

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: 

Protect Our Care was joined by Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham, Action NC Executive Director Pat McCoy, DonnaMarie Woodson, Little Lobbyists Community Engagement Director Stacy Staggs, and Laura Packard for a press conference. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA:

Protect Our Care held a press conference with State Representative Rebecca Mitchell, State Senator Sonya Halpern, Georgians for a Health Future Organizing Director Knetta Adkins and Laura Packard at IBEW Local 613 Auditorium. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA:

Protect Our Care was joined by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, ​​Executive Director of Step Up Savannah Alicia Johnson, State Representative Derek Mallow, and Laura Packard for a virtual press conference.

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA:

At Orlando City Hall, Protect Our Care was joined by Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-9th), Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10th), health care advocate Jennifer Dotson, and Laura Packard for a press conference. 

Coverage:

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

TAMPA, FLORIDA:

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13th), Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL-14th), State Representative Dianne Hart (District 61), Dr. Vondalyn Wright, and Laura Packard joined Protect Our Care at Lykes Gaslight Park for a press conference. 

Coverage:

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

COVERAGE: U.S. Rep. Darren Soto and Rep. Val Demings Join Protect Our Care’s “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour in Orlando

Rep. Darren Soto, Rep. Val Demings, and Health Care Advocates Joined Protect Our Care on the Nationwide “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour to Demonstrate the Urgent Need to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs and Cover Floridians Who Fall Into the Medicaid Gap

Watch Central Florida News 13 (Orlando) Clip HERE

Watch WFTV Channel 27 (Orlando) Clip HERE.

TODAY: Care Force One Makes Two Stops in Florida to Call For Lower Costs and Better Care For All Americans

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 26***

Congresswoman Val Demings, Congressman Darren Soto, Congressman Charlie Crist, and  Congresswoman Kathy Castor Will Headline Protect Our Care’s Nationwide “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour Stops in Orlando and Tampa on Thursday

Florida — Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10th) along with Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-9th) will join health care advocates and local residents for Protect Our Care’s “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour stop in Orlando, Florida. Then, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13th) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL-14th) will headline Tampa’s bus tour stop. Both events are part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour to call for lowering health costs, expanding coverage, and reducing racial disparities in care. Protect Our Care is fighting to ensure critical health care measures supported by President Biden remain in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. At tomorrow’s event, speakers will convey the urgency to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

ORLANDO 

WHO: 

Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-9th)

Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10th)

Jennifer Dotson, local Orlando resident and health care advocate with a story on the cost of prescription drugs and the need to expand Medicaid

Laura Packard, national healthcare advocate and stage-4 cancer survivor

Other healthcare advocates; members of For Our Future

WHERE: Care Force One, in front of Orlando City Hall – 400 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

WHEN: Thursday, August 26 at 11:30 AM

 

TAMPA 

WHO: 

Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13th)

Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL-14th)

State Representative Dianne Hart (District 61)

Dr. Vondalyn Wright, local doctor and owner of a community pharmacy

Laura Packard, national healthcare advocate and stage-4 cancer survivor

Other healthcare advocates; members of For Our Future

WHERE: Care Force One, outside at Lykes Gaslight Park – 2310 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602

WHEN: Thursday, August 26 at 4:00 PM

 

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

IN THE STATES: Health Experts, Patient Advocates, and Lawmakers Call on Congress to Lower Drug Prices

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates are calling on Congress to finally lower drug prices for all Americans. Americans pay three times more for their prescriptions than people in other countries, and millions are forced to make impossible choices between affording essential medications or putting food on the table or paying rent. This fall, Congress has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take action by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. From Alaska to West Virginia, the following op-eds make clear that Americans of all walks of life are demanding relief from the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The time to act is now.  

HEADLINES 

(AK) Al Gross, Doctor and Former U.S. Senate Candidate, in the Anchorage Daily News: There Is No Better Time Than Now for Prescription Drug Reform. “The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequities in our health system, and now more than ever, we must be working together to lower health-care costs for everyone so our society can rebound and businesses can grow. In particular, we should be focusing on and trying to help communities disproportionately impacted by the high cost of drugs: seniors, women of color and even children, as these groups are especially vulnerable to these skyrocketing costs.” [Anchorage Daily News, 6/7/21

(AZ) Iesha Meza, Phoenix Resident and Type 1 Diabetic, in the Arizona Mirror: Arizonans Like Me Are Fed Up With High Drug Prices, and It’s Time to Fix That. “Drug companies like to claim that high prices are necessary to offset the high costs of research and development, and that reforms would harm innovation and competitiveness: but Arizonans don’t buy it. Even amidst the pandemic, drug company profits continued to escalate. Further, as the country reckoned with a racial uprising last summer, it was revealed just how much this underlying price gouging particularly impacts BIPOC communities.” [Arizona Mirror, 8/24/21]

(FL) Janet Cruz, State Senator for District 18, in the Tampa Bay Times: It’s Time to Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable for Floridians. “This is an issue of right and wrong. It’s wrong that Americans often pay three or four times the cost for the same medicines as other countries, and big pharmaceutical companies are still making profits. It’s wrong that Americans have to choose between paying for food or rent, rather than their medicine. And it’s wrong that Americans need to make the life-threatening choice to ration insulin.” [Tampa Bay Times, 7/9/21

(ME) Sarah Lukianov, Bath Resident and Type 1 Diabetic, in the Bangor Daily News: Now Is The Time for Prescription Drug Reform From Congress. “It’s horrifying to know there are people like me who ration their medications to near-death or delay care because the costs are too high. Legislation like HR 3 would help change that reality for millions of people and federal reform is long overdue. With Biden’s support, we can get this done. Now is the time for Congress to take bold action and pass this bill.” [Bangor Daily News, 6/26/21

(OH) Dr. Geraldine Hayes Nelson, President of the Portage County NAACP, in the Record Courier: Congress Must Pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. “If you’ve had trouble paying for prescription medicine for yourself or family members — regardless if you are insured or not — you aren’t alone. Americans pay three times more for medications than people in other countries. As the cost of lifesaving medications like insulin skyrocket, Ohioans face impossible tradeoffs, like deciding whether to pay rent or to purchase the medications that keep them alive.” [Record Courier, 6/6/21]

(NH) Jayme H. Simões, Chair of Protect Our Care NH and Resident of Concord, in the New Hampshire Union Leader: Medicare Needs Power To Negotiate With Drug Makers. “I have met with New Hampshire residents who ration their medications or delay care because the costs are too high. Legislation such as H.R. 3 could change that reality for millions of people and reform is long overdue. Now is the time for Congress to take action and pass this bill.” [Union Leader, 6/14/21

(NJ) Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, Representing Mount Laurel, in the New Jersey Globe: It’s Time for Washington to Make Lowering Prescription Drug Costs a Priority. “The pandemic has been a wake up call and we need to get serious about how we approach public health and what our priorities are. If we are truly going to repair and rebuild, prescription drug costs must be lowered. Democrats are planning to include in their infrastructure deal a provision that will allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices – taking a big step forward in lowering the cost of prescription drugs.” [New jersey Globe, 7/29/21

(PA) Meaghan Reid, Phoenixville Emergency Medicine Physician and Co-state Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care in the Reporter: There Is No Better Time Than Now for Prescription Drug Reform. “So many of my patients would benefit from H.R.3 and the health and financial security it would afford them. Those personal benefits are evident in the polling around it: Insights from a Gallup survey show the American public supports the provisions in H.R.3 meant to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Separate polling conveys that 93% of respondents — Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike — support giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.” [The Reporter, 7/28/21

(WV) Mindy Salango, Resident of Morgantown, in the Charleston Gazette-Mail: Prescription Drug Pricing Reform Needed Now. “I’m a Type 1 diabetic, and, even though I have health insurance, I still spend about $350 every month paying for my prescription medications, insulin and other diabetes supplies I need to stay healthy and alive. These high prices don’t have to be our reality. In April, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives reintroduced the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (HR.3), bold legislation to lower prescription drug costs for people like me. HR.3 would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on behalf of all Americans — not just those on Medicare.” [Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6/16/21

(WI) Anthony Short, Resident of Green Bay, in Up North News: Drug Costs Are Skyrocketing. Congress Must Step In. “No American should be forced to make decisions that harm their health due to the cost of prescription drugs. Right now, we know that too many do. Just three years ago, I had no other option than to ration insulin for weeks as I changed jobs, and health insurance provider…That is just one example of the terrible positions people are left in because of the cost of drugs. Simply put, without insurance, insulin and other drugs that millions of Americans rely on to survive are prohibitively expensive, even for those with a good job.” [Up North News, 7/20/21]

House Advances Budget Agreement That Includes Historic Investments To Lower Costs and Improve Care for Millions of Americans

Washington, DC — Today, under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion proposed FY2022 Budget Resolution framework that will make historic investments in American health care. Previously passed by the Senate, the proposal lowers the cost of prescription drugs, expands Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing, closes the Medicaid coverage gap, and extends the premium reductions under the American Rescue Plan so millions of people can continue to afford their coverage. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“House Democrats just passed a historic budget resolution that will transform the lives of millions of Americans. We are now one step closer to finally lowering the cost of prescription drugs, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, expanding Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing and further reducing health care premiums for millions of Americans. 

“Reducing costs and expanding benefits and coverage has never been more urgent as we continue to battle this devastating pandemic, and we commend Speaker Pelosi’s  leadership in swiftly taking action to ensure these historic health provisions are passed this fall. In contrast, every Republican member put politics over people’s health by voting no and ignoring the wishes of the vast majority of voters. Today’s vote is another reminder that President Biden and Democrats in Congress are laser-focused on delivering lower cost, better health care for the American people.”

BY THE NUMBERS:

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

The Majority Of American Adults Take Prescription Drugs. 53 percent of American adults, or roughly 130 million people, take prescription drugs in the U.S. and stand to benefit from legislation to lower drug prices. 

Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Would Save Patients And Taxpayers Billions. Empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices for all Americans would save patients more than $150 billion and create $500 billion in savings for the federal government that could be reinvested to strengthen health care.

EXPANDING MEDICARE BENEFITS

Millions Of Seniors And People With Disabilities Are Struggling With Dental Problems, Poor Vision, And Hearing Loss Due To Cost. Nearly 38 million traditional Medicare enrollees would gain dental, vision, and hearing coverage. Between 47 and 64 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage, 74 percent lack vision coverage, and 76 percent go without hearing coverage.

Medicare Has No Out-of-pocket Limit For Prescription Drugs. Individuals on Medicare are the only insured Americans to have no cap for out-of-pocket medication costs. In 2019, average out-of-pocket costs for specialty medications surpassed $8,000, while 50 percent of Medicare recipients had incomes under $29,650.

REDUCING HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS 

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan saved Americans thousands on their health care, and Democrats are working to make these changes permanent. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, four out of five current Marketplace consumers can find a plan on the ACA marketplaces for less than $10 per month. If these subsidies were made permanent, 4.2 million uninsured people would gain coverage and millions more would continue to save on health care costs. 

CLOSING THE MEDICAID COVERAGE GAP

Millions Would Gain Access To Quality, Affordable Insurance Under Medicaid Expansion. Providing health care for working families, older adults, and people with disabilities by closing the Medicaid coverage gap would mean that more than 2 million uninsured people would get access to quality insurance at little or no cost. 

Closing The Coverage Gap Is The Single Most Important Step To Reduce Racial Disparities In Health Coverage. People of color are more likely to have a lower median income and live in a state without Medicaid expansion, compared with their white counterparts. People of color make up nearly 60 percent of the people who could gain coverage in the remaining non-expansion states. 

THIS WEEK: The “Lower Cost, Better Care” Bus Tour Continues With Stops in West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida

U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) and Darren Soto (D-FL-09), State Senator Richard Lindsay (D-WV-08), State Senator Jay Chaudhuri (D-NC-15), State Senator Natalie Murdock (D-NC-20), Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham, and Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson, II Will Headline “Lower Costs, Better Care” Events in Four States

Washington, DC — On the third week of Protect Our Care’s 8,600-mile, 36-event, 19-state “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour, “Care Force One” will make stops in four states to demonstrate the urgent need to lower health costs, expand coverage, and reduce racial disparities in care. During each stop, national and local elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will promote the work of President Biden and dozens of Democratic lawmakers who are leading the charge to advance American health care and hold Republicans accountable for continuing to reject measures to improve care and lower costs for the American people. Additional speakers are expected to be added throughout the week. 

Throughout the nationwide tour, participants will advocate to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans, create a federal solution to close the Medicaid coverage gap, expand Medicare benefits to include vision, dental and hearing, and reduce health insurance premiums by making permanent the provisions of the American Rescue Plan so millions of people can continue to access low-cost coverage.

Watch All Bus Tour Stops Live Here

MONDAY

CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA: 

WHO:

Senator Richard Lindsay

Delegate Mike Pushkin

Mindy Salango, Type 1 diabetic

Delegate Kayla Young

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: Care Force One, West Virginia State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd.

WHEN: Monday, August 23rd at 3:00PM

 

TUESDAY

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: 

WHO: 

Senator Jay Chaudhuri

Senator Natalie Murdock

NC AFL-CIO President Mary-Be McMillan

Raleigh-Apex NAACP President Gerald Givens

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: Moore Square, Raleigh (Martin Street side)

WHEN: Tuesday, August 24th at 9:30AM

 

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA:

WHO: 

Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham

Action NC Executive Director Pat McCoy

DonnaMarie Woodson

Little Lobbyists Community Engagement Director Stacy Staggs

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: Action NC, 1817 Central Ave, Charlotte 

WHEN: Tuesday, August 24th at 2:00PM

 

WEDNESDAY

ATLANTA, GEORGIA:

WHO:

State Representative Rebecca Mitchell

Health Care Voter Executive Director Laura Packard

WHERE: IBEW Local 613 Auditorium: 153 Richardson St, SW, Atlanta, GA 30312

WHEN: Wednesday, August 25th at 9:30AM

 

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA:

WHO:

Mayor Van R. Johnson, II

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: City/Visitors’ Center: 301 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401

WHEN: Wednesday, August 25th at 4:00PM

 

THURSDAY

ORLANDO, FLORIDA:

WHO:

Representative Darren Soto (D-FL-09) 

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: City Hall: 400 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

WHEN: Thursday, August 26th at 10:00AM

 

TAMPA, FLORIDA:

WHO:

Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL-13)

State Representative Dianne Hart

Dr. Mona Mangat, MD

Laura Packard, cancer survivor and ACA storyteller

WHERE: City Hall: 400 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801

WHEN: Thursday, August 26th at 4:00PM 

 

The Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Tour Continues In: 

Denver, Colorado on Monday, August 30, 2021

Flagstaff, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

San Diego, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021

Anaheim, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021

Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, September 3, 2021

 

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

TODAY: Policy Experts and Researchers, Providers, and Advocates Join Protect Our Care California to Present New Study Confirming H.R. 3 Will Not Harm Pharma Innovation

Contact: Nick Day | (612) 396-2908 | [email protected]

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18 AT 11:30 AM PT // 2:30 PM ET ***

TODAY: Policy Experts and Researchers, Providers, and Advocates Join Protect Our Care California to Present New Study Confirming H.R. 3 Will Not Harm Pharma Innovation

New research confirms House Democrats’ Rx drug legislation will not impact pharmaceutical innovation

San Diego, CA On Wednesday, August 18 at 11:30 AM PT, Tim Lash, Chief Strategy Officer of West Health, a family of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable successful aging, and Dr. Jennifer Poast, Director of the Research Division of San Ysidro Health, will join Protect Our Care California to discuss new research confirming that the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) — Democrats’ legislation to lower prescription drug costs — will not negatively affect innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. 

In April, House Democrats re-introduced the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), bold legislation to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug costs — the single most effective measure to bring down drug prices. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would save taxpayers $500 billion and reduce the prices for the most expensive medications by as much as 55 percent saving patients an estimated $158 billion. Now Democrats are fighting to include the key provisions of H.R. 3 in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. 

Last week, Protect Our Care launched its nationwide “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour to highlight the work of Democratic lawmakers who are leading the charge to advance American health care and hold Republicans accountable for continuing to reject measures to improve care and lower costs for Americans. Care Force One will make stops in San Diego and Anaheim on Thursday, September 2.

WHO:
Protect Our Care California
Tim Lash, Chief Strategy Officer of West Health
Jennifer Poast, D.O., M.A., Core Faculty & Director of Research at San Ysidro Health
Annemarie Gibson, a mother of two children with Type 1 diabetes

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHEN: Wednesday, August 18 at 11:30 AM PT // 2:30 PM ET

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., and Health Care Advocates Call for Action to Lower Costs and Improve Health Care for New Jerseyans

HHS Secretary Becerra, U.S. Rep. Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06) and Health Care Advocates Joined Protect Our Care on the Nationwide “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour in New Brunswick to Demonstrate the Urgent Need to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs

You can watch the event here.

NEW JERSEY — This morning, Protect Our Care’s “Care Force One” arrived in New Brunswick to demonstrate the need for lowering health care costs, expanding coverage, and reducing racial disparities in care for New Jerseyans. Headlined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06), the event underscored the importance of addressing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Read Protect Our Care’s new report: Lower Costs, Better Care for New Jerseyans here.

Throughout the nationwide “Lower Cost, Better Care” bus tour, Protect Our Care is fighting to ensure critical health care measures supported by President Biden remain in the upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. These priorities include giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans, getting more Americans covered by closing the Medicaid gap, expanding Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision, and further reducing health care premiums for millions of Americans who purchase coverage on their own.

“Everyone wins when health care is in reach,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We know there is a need and demand for affordable care. Life-saving drugs shouldn’t eat up a person’s life savings. Lowering the cost of care and prescription drugs is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and I am committed to advancing this goal.”

“Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world, and as a result too many New Jerseyans do not take their medications because of high costs,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman. “My legislation finally empowers the federal government to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs and make those prices available to both seniors on Medicare and Americans with private health insurance. Last week, the Senate passed a budget resolution that creates the framework for historic investments in health care and other social programs. I believe a key part of this package as it moves forward through Congress must be allowing the government to lower prescription drug prices. I’m grateful that Secretary Becerra joined me today in New Brunswick to see firsthand the momentum we are building for this bill. I’m looking forward to working with the Biden Administration to get it across the finish line.”

“I am proud to stand alongside our federal representatives and healthcare cost advocates as we call attention to the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs,” said Assemblyman John McKeon from New Jersey’s 27th Legislative District and Chair, Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. “Healthcare affordability is a uniquely American problem; we pay more for medications than any citizens in any other country in the world! Failure to address healthcare affordability is not an option.”

“Congressman Pallone has been a leader in the fight to lower New Jerseyans’ drug and premium costs, expand coverage, strengthen benefits for seniors and reduce racial disparities in care,” said Maura Collinsgru, Health Care Program Director, New Jersey Citizen Action. “We have a once in a generation opportunity to lower prescription drug costs while expanding access to more affordable health coverage and care for New Jerseyans and millions of Americans. We urge Congressman Pallone’s colleagues in the House and Senate to work tirelessly to ensure these long overdue measures become law this fall.”

“When I was fighting stage 4 cancer, I had to forego medication that would boost my immune system because the price tag was simply too high,” said Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and health care advocate who is crisscrossing the country on Care Force One this summer. “I wound up in the hospital, and nearly died. Sadly, stories like these are all too common in our country. Patients should be able to focus on getting well, not struggling to pay for medications. That’s why we need Congress to act now to lower the cost of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prices on behalf of all Americans.”

“Instead of focusing on my health, I worry about how I’ll cover the price of my next prescription,” said Lisa Ann Trainor, a patient advocate who suffers from a chronic illness and shared her story about how high prescription drug costs have impacted her and her family. “We need change. Patients like me need our elected officials to take meaningful action to lower drug prices now. I can envision a reality where I would no longer be prevented from taking the medication I need because of its high price. I am grateful to Secretary Becerra and Congressman Pallone for fighting for legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices.”

“This tour is giving Americans from all walks of life the opportunity to speak out about the pressing need to lower health care costs and improve care,” said Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care. “New Jerseyans have the right to know whether their elected officials stand by President Biden’s agenda to improve health care for millions or if they side with Big Pharma and other special interests. Democrats like Congressman Pallone are fighting for the lower costs and better care that all Americans deserve. Care Force One is crisscrossing the country this summer making the case for getting this critical job done.”

Tomorrow, “Care Force One” will head to Willingboro, New Jersey, where Protect Our Care will be joined by State Senator Troy Singleton and other health care advocates. For more information, please visit protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

The Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour is making stops in:

Scranton, Pennsylvania on Monday, August 16, 2021

Burlington County, New Jersey on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Dover, Delaware on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Morgantown, West Virginia on Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Youngstown, Ohio on Thursday, August 19, 2021

Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, August 19, 2021

Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday, August 20, 2021

Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, August 20, 2021

Parkersburg, West Virginia on Monday, August 23, 2021

Charleston, West Virginia on Monday, August 23, 2021

Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Columbia, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Savannah, Georgia on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Orlando, Florida on Thursday, August 26, 2021

Tampa, Florida on Thursday, August 26, 2021

Denver, Colorado on Monday, August 30, 2021

Flagstaff, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

San Diego, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021

Anaheim, California on Thursday, September 2, 2021

Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday, September 3, 2021

Week One: Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour Traveled to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey

“Care Force One” Events Headlined by U.S. Representatives Peter Welch, (D-VT-AL), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Susan Wild (D-PA-07), VT Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, ME Attorney General Aaron Frey

Washington, DC — On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 8,600-mile, 36-event, 19-state “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour, “Care Force One” made stops in five states to demonstrate the urgent need to lower health costs, expand coverage, and reduce racial disparities in care. During each stop, national and local elected officials including, U.S. Representatives Peter Welch, (D-VT-AL), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Susan Wild (D-PA-07), Lt. Gov. Molly Gray (D-VT), Attorney General Aaron Frey (D-ME), headlined events alongside health care advocates and storytellers promoting the work of President Biden and their Democratic colleagues who are leading the charge to advance American health care. Next week, the tour continues in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, and Wisconsin. 

Watch All Bus Tour Stops Here

BANGOR, ME:

Protect Our Care was joined by Attorney General Frey, State Sen. Troy Jackson, State Rep. Joe Perry, Lee Humphrey of Consumers for Affordable Health Care, and Laura Packard for a press conference at Pierce Park. 

Coverage

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

PORTLAND, ME:

At Portland City Hall, Protect Our Care held a press conference with State Sen. Stacy Brenner, State Rep. Colleen Madigan, Kate Ende from Consumers for Affordable Health Care, and Laura Packard.


Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here

BURLINGTON, VT

Protect Our Care was joined by Rep. Welch, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, State Rep. Taylor Small, Sarah DeSilvey from APRN-CFamily Medicine, and Laura Packard at Oakledge Park for a press conference. 

Coverage

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

CONCORD, NH

At City Plaza, Protect Our Care held a press conference with Rep. Kuster, Jay Gupta, Dr. Nick Perencevich, Sandra Pratt, Lisa Beaudoin, Arnie Arnesen, and Laura Packard.

Coverage

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

ALLENTOWN, PA

Protect Our Care was joined by Rep. Wild, Laura Packard, Robin Stelly from PHAN, and Val Miller at Vida Nueva at Casa for a press conference.

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

TEANECK, NJ 

Protect Our Care was joined for a press conference by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Maura Collinsgru from NJ Citizen Action, Dr. Aakash Shah, and Laura Packard outside Sen. Weinberg’s office. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.