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“A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity”: U.S. Senators Wyden, Stabenow, Bennet and Warnock Call for Passing Historic Health Care Provisions in Inflation Reduction Act

By August 4, 2022No Comments

Listen to the Call Here.

Washington, DC — Today, Finance Committee Chairman Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) joined patient advocates and Protect Our Care to call on Congress to move swiftly to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. The historic legislation includes critical measures to drive down health care premiums and prescription drug costs for millions of Americans. 

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extends the enhanced premium tax credits for ACA plans and gives Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices, caps seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for drugs at $2,000 per year, and stops Big Pharma’s egregious annual price hikes. The bill also limits insulin costs at $35 per month for millions of diabetics who depend on it. These measures will help lower costs for millions of working families and address the deep racial inequities in our health care system. 

“The Senate is on the cusp of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lower drug costs for seniors and Medicare, and keep health insurance premiums low for families,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR). “Medicare negotiation, limits on Big Pharma’s price gouging, and an out-of-pocket cap for seniors are going to mark a seismic shift in the relationship between Big Pharma and Medicare. I’m also thrilled that the bill includes several years of enhanced tax credits for middle-class health care. It’s time to pass these important policies to keep costs down for Americans.” 

“We’re standing with the American people to lower prices so they can afford their medicines, and the people are going to win this week,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “There’s not one industry that has been price gouging for longer and deeper than the pharmaceutical industry. Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescriptions – three to four times more than people in other countries. We are giving hundreds of billions of dollars to these same companies in taxpayer money for research and development, yet one out of four Americans can’t afford the medicine they need. This is just plain wrong. It’s time to put people over profits.”

“Right now, we have an economy that charges families more for health care than any other industrialized nation,” said Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). “An economy that forces seniors to cut their pills in half, skip their prescriptions, or choose between buying groceries and the medication they need. That’s outrageous. We have to do everything we can to pass the Inflation Reduction Act to drive down health care costs and lower the price of prescription drugs.”

“Hardworking Georgians are struggling with rising costs, and the Inflation Reduction Act will make real change in their lives,” said U.S. Senator Reverend Warnock (D-GA). “From saving seniors money by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug costs, to expanding critical ACA subsidies so health care coverage stays affordable, to lowering insulin costs and limiting how much seniors have to pay for their prescriptions, this legislation will have a lasting impact on people in my state. I’m going to keep working to get this bill passed as soon as possible.”

“As an Atlanta business owner with several autoimmune diseases, I rely heavily on the ACA for health care insurance. Before the pandemic, my brother and I owned five businesses. Now, we’re down to one. I’m working to rebuild my businesses and income, so extending the tax credits are an extreme lifesaver for me,” said Himali Patel, a small business owner from Georgia. “Each month, I’m faced with the difficult decision of choosing to pay thousands for my medications that seem to forever skyrocket or my mortgage and groceries. So, I’m thankful Democrats are fighting to make quality affordable health care and prescription drugs for every American a reality.” 

I have been a resident of Colorado for almost 40 years. And even longer than that, I’ve been living with type one diabetes now for 50 years. I am required to take insulin injections every single day to stay alive and to stay healthy,” said Gail deVore, a small business owner from Colorado. “As a type one diabetic, I can tell you firsthand that my biggest day to day anxiety is not kidney disease or other complications from diabetes, it’s simply the ability to access and afford my insulin. It’s crucial that our leaders in Congress like you are standing up for people like me, and ensuring that people can afford the medication we rely on to stay alive and to stay healthy.”

“For years, lawmakers have tried and failed to rein in drug costs and lower the cost of health care– but now President Biden and Democrats are getting the job done,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “This achievement is monumental and long-overdue, meeting the needs of Americans from all walks of life. Despite unified Republican opposition and a $100 million lobbying campaign from Big Pharma, Democrats are charging ahead to get this historic legislation over the finish line.”