Washington DC — Today, U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation to repeal the most popular provision of the Inflation Reduction Act: Medicare negotiation. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices will drive down costs for millions of seniors and save the taxpayers $98.5 billion. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:
“This bill is a complete travesty. GIving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices is a commonsense, overwhelmingly popular measure to lower costs and deliver relief to millions of American seniors. Yet Republicans are once again showing their true colors: they want to turn their backs on seniors and instead line the pockets of big drug companies and their CEOs, who have no problem ripping off taxpayers and forcing Americans to pay two to three times what consumers in other countries pay for the same drugs. The bottom line is if Republicans have their way, they will repeal the Inflation Reduction Act entirely, hiking costs for families and ripping away lifesaving health care from those who need it most.”
Medicare Negotiating Power Will Decrease Costs for Millions.
- Currently over 46.6 million Americans are enrolled with Medicare Part D, making Medicare one of the largest used government services in the country, especially within marginalized communities with Black Medicare beneficiaries nearly 1.5 times as likely to struggle affording prescriptions and twice as likely to stop taking medications due to cost.
- Over $407 billion is spent annually on prescription drugs, but with the ability to negotiate down prices, Medicare could potentially save taxpayers billions while also reducing out-of-pocket costs as Medicare premiums fall.
- With new studies showing enrolling in Medicare reduces economic anxiety while increasing health care usage, lowering total costs through this negotiating power and increasing access is more critical than ever.
Republican Leadership Is All In On Repealing Lower Drug Prices And Premiums
- HEADLINE: “House GOP Eyes Repeal Of Dems’ Drug Pricing Law” [Axios, 9/23/22]
- Rep. Kevin Brady: “Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, indicated repealing the drug pricing law is a likely agenda item. ‘Because those drug provisions are so dangerous, by discouraging investment in life-saving cures, I would imagine that will be a top priority for Republicans in the new session,’ he said.”
- Rep. Jason Smith: “As of now, the top two contenders to lead the Ways and Means Committee are Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), ranking Republican of the House Banking Committee, and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who is seen as the Republican next in line. […] Smith told Axios in a phone interview he thinks Republicans should leverage debt limit negotiations to ‘reverse’ the administration’s ‘radical’ policies — including by sending a bill gutting the Democratic agenda to President Biden’s desk and daring him to reject it. ‘If Republicans are trying to cut spending, surely he wouldn’t try to default. If we were trying to bring down inflation … trying to secure our border, surely he wouldn’t default,’ Smith said.”
- Rep. Buddy Carter: “We’ve been asking that question not only about student debt loans, but also about a number of initiatives that have been instigated and put into place by the Biden administration, just like in the Inflation Acceleration Act that I mentioned before with the prescription drug pricing. That is something I’m very interested in as a pharmacist. I’ve been asking my colleagues, ‘How are we going to undo that when we get into the majority?’”