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House Democrats

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. 

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, Little Lobbyists, MomsRising and Protect Our Care Call For Expanding Medicaid & Bringing Down Drug Prices to Help Children and Families

Call Conveyed the Devastating Impact of High Drug Costs on Children and Need for Expanding Medicaid & Giving Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Little Lobbyists Executive Director and Co-founder Elena Hung, and MomsRising National Director for Health Care Felicia Burnett joined Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to demonstrate the devastating toll of high drug prices on children and their families. During the call, speakers discussed the urgency for prescription drug pricing reform in addition to how closing the Medicaid coverage gap in Texas and 11 other states could further increase children’s access to affordable health care. 

The event followed a new report from Protect Our Care, Little Lobbyists, and MomsRising that was released as part of Week 8 of Lower Rx Summer. Lower Rx Summer consists of themed weeks of action to illustrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans. 

“I was raised by a single mom who was a public school teacher, so I know how hard it can be for families to pay the bills every month,” said U.S. Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32). “In the richest country on earth, everyone, especially our kids, deserves access to the prescriptions they need at an affordable price. Lowering prescription drug prices is one of my top priorities. With President Biden now in office, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get this done, and I will keep working in Congress to do just that.”

“Many of our families rely on the innovation and development of life-saving medications to treat and sustain our children with complex medical needs and disabilities. Those medications, however, are only life-saving if the patient can afford them. Therefore, we call on Congress to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices so our families can access the life-saving medications our children need to survive and thrive,” said Elena Hung, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists.

“Nothing is more heartbreaking than knowing there are medications that can improve or even save your child’s life, but you can’t afford them,” said Felicia Burnett, MPA, National Director for Health Care for MomsRising. “America’s moms are fed up with being forced to go into debt to access the medications their child needs. We’re fed up with drug companies profiting at our expense. And we’re fed up with lawmakers who prioritize drug companies’ bottom lines over the health and lives of our kids.”

“The high cost of my daughter’s prescription drugs has been a tremendous challenge for my family. Even though we are insured, many of my daughter’s prescription costs aren’t covered,” said Cindy Fraser, MomsRising storyteller and mother of two children with complex medical needs from Michigan. “As a mother, it’s terrifying to show up at a pharmacy counter and find out the insurance company has only approved the insulin that your daughter is allergic to, because it is cheaper. I wish these decisions were driven by doctors, not insurers, pharmaceutical companies and prescription drug costs.”

“Our nation’s children depend on bold action to bring down drug prices and expand coverage,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “No parent should be forced to make a choice between paying for lifesaving drugs for their children or putting food on the table or paying rent. Families stuck in the coverage gap face even greater barriers to accessing affordable health care. There has never been a more urgent time to act to close the Medicaid coverage gap and give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.”

PRESS CALL: U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, Little Lobbyists, MomsRising and Protect Our Care to Highlight Dire Toll of High Drug Costs on Children

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 5 AT 11:00 AM ET // 10:00 AM CT***

PRESS CALL: U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, Little Lobbyists, MomsRising and Protect Our Care to Highlight Dire Toll of High Drug Costs on Children

 Call Will Convey Urgent Need to Stand Up to Big Pharma and Give Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices 

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday, August 5 at 11:00 AM ET // 10:00 AM CT, U.S. Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Elena Hung, the executive director and co-founder of Little Lobbyists, and Felicia Burnett, MPA, National Director for Health Care at MomsRising will join Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss the devastating toll of high drug prices on children and their families. In addition to addressing the urgent need for prescription drug pricing reform, speakers will discuss how closing the Medicaid coverage gap could help millions of Americans, including 771,000 Texans, access affordable health care. 

The event comes after Protect Our Care released a report co-sponsored by Little Lobbyists and MomsRising as part of Week 8 of Lower Rx Summer. Lower Rx Summer consists of themed weeks of action to illustrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans. 

In the coming months, President Biden and members of Congress have an unprecedented opportunity to finally take action to lower drug prices. In 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation that would lower drug prices for all Americans. H.R. 3 would save patients over $150 billion and reduce the price of the costliest drugs by as much as 55 percent. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate would dramatically reduce drug prices for Americans of all ages and is supported by over 80% of voters, including over 50% majorities of Republicans and independents.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32)
Elena Hung, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists
Felicia Burnett, MPA, National Director for Health Care, MomsRising
Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference to Highlight Dire Toll of High Drug Costs on Children and the Importance of a Federal Solution to Closing the Medicaid Expansion Gap

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Thursday, August 5 at 11:00 AM ET // 10:00 AM CT

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, Small Business for America’s Future and Protect Our Care Call For Bringing Down Drug Prices to Help Small Businesses

Call Conveyed the Devastating Impact of High Drug Costs on Small Businesses and Need For Giving Medicare the Power to Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN-02), Small Business for America’s Future Senior Advisor Kristi Martin, and Small Business for America’s Future Small Business Council Member and small business owner Candace Combs joined Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss how high drug prices are harming small businesses. During the call, Rep. Craig and advocates conveyed the urgency for legislation to bring down drug prices so small businesses can recover from the pandemic and thrive for years to come. 

The event followed a new report from Protect Our Care and Small Business for America’s Future published as part of Week 7 of Lower Rx Summer. In June, Protect Our Care announced Lower Rx Summer as part of The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices. Lower Rx Summer consists of themed weeks of action to illustrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans.

“We can address the high cost of prescription drugs – but only if we stand with Americans and small businesses instead of special interests in Washington,” said Representative Angie Craig (D-MN-02). “We must pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, to bring relief to small businesses and finally allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs for hardworking Americans.” 

“Rising prescription drug prices are a major concern for small business owners because higher prices lead to higher healthcare costs,” said Kristi Martin, Senior Advisor at Small Business for America’s Future. “In our most recent survey of over 1,000 small business owners, Small Business for America’s Future found that 55% said rising healthcare costs delayed growth opportunities for their business and 40% said they’ve had to increase prices of goods and services to keep pace with their rising healthcare costs. Without action to address these prescription drug prices, our small business recovery will continue to be held back.”

“I stand with the 85% of small business owners surveyed by Small Business for America’s Future who support allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies because I know the kind of difference it would make for my business and my employees,” said Candace Combs, Owner of Combs Business Consulting and In-Symmetry Spa and Small Business For America’s Future council member. “Small business owners are the backbone of the economy, but skyrocketing drug costs is keeping us from making the investments we need for the future. It is time our leaders had our backs and act to reign in the cost of medication.”

“The future of small businesses depends on bold action to bring down prescription drug prices,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “As drug companies hike the prices of lifesaving medications, small businesses are paying more and more for health care, forcing them to pass those costs along to workers and customers. It’s time to stand up to Big Pharma and finally give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.” 

NEW REPORT: How High Drug Prices Hurt Hispanic and Latino People In the U.S.

Protect Our Care Releases New Report As Part of Lower Rx Summer

Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new report as part of Week 6 of Lower Rx Summer underscoring how high drug costs hurt Latinos and Hispanic people. Throughout the week, Protect Our Care will host events and release additional research showing the urgency for reform to bring down drug prices for people of color. 

In June, Protect Our Care announced Lower Rx Summer as part of The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices. Lower Rx Summer consists of themed weeks of action to demonstrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans. 

Remaining Theme Weeks for Lower Rx Summer

Week 6 (July 12): How High Drug Prices Hurt People of Color

Week 7 (July 19): How High Drug Prices Hurt Small Businesses

Week 8 (July 26): How High Drug Prices Hurt Children

Week 9 (August 2): Expanding Medicare Benefits—Hearing, Vision, And Dental

Racial inequity is pervasive within the American health care system, and high prescription drug costs are no exception. Nearly 30 percent of individuals taking prescription medication struggle to afford the cost, with the burden most severely impacting those who make less than $40,000 a year and have medication costs over $100. These factors disproportionately impact Hispanic and Latino individuals, who are more likely to require medications for chronic health conditions and earn household median incomes nearly $20,000 less than non-Hispanic white counterparts, resulting in reduced ability to pay at the pharmacy counter. 

“Structural racism has led to Hispanic and Latino people being disproportionately burdened by high drug prices in the United States,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “It is unconscionable that millions of people can’t afford the drugs they need to survive. Bringing down the cost of drugs is an essential step in addressing racial inequities in health care and helping communities recover from the pandemic. It’s time for lawmakers to put an end to Big Pharma’s greed and give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.”

In 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation that would lower drug prices for all Americans. H.R. 3 would save patients over $150 billion and reduce the price of the costliest drugs by as much as 55 percent

Not only does giving Medicare the power to negotiate help patients at the pharmacy counter, but it would save the federal government $500 billion, which could be reinvested to strengthen health care. These savings could help lower premiums, expand coverage, and strengthen Medicare benefits to include hearing, vision, and dental. As the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring access to affordable health care, and specifically prescription drugs, has never been more critical. 

KEY POINTS

  • Income and health coverage inequity disproportionately harm Hispanic and Latino people. Hispanic and Latino individuals are more likely to have a lower median income and live in a state without Medicaid expansion, compared with their white counterparts. These disparities have profound impacts on health outcomes for Hispanic and Latino people that result in reduced ability to access lifesaving drugs with tragic results.
  • Hispanic and Latino people are regularly forced to navigate chronic health conditions with reduced access to needed drugs. Compounding social, economic, and political forces make Hispanic and Latino individuals more likely to suffer from ongoing health issues and be faced with outrageous medication prices. Inequitable drug access due to cost, creates additional medical problems that disproportionately impact Hispanic and Latino individuals. 
  • Drug pricing reform is crucial in addressing racial health disparities. Hispanic and Latino individuals are significantly more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts, pushing up the cost of prescription drugs in a country that is already paying nearly three times what individuals in other countries are spending on the same drugs. Wealth and health disparities perpetuated by systemic racism increase the strain of drug costs for Hispanic and Latino people.

Read the new report on how high drug costs hurt Hispanic and Latino people here.

New Poll Shows Strong Support for Medicare Negotiation Across Key House Districts

76 Percent of Voters in Key Districts Support Giving Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices for All Americans

Washington, DC — A new PPP poll on behalf of Protect Our Care released today shows that voters in 10 key congressional districts whose representatives indicated in a recent letter that they may oppose the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) overwhelmingly support giving Medicare the power to lower prescription drug prices for all Americans, and they reject the argument that Medicare negotiation would slow down innovation.

The districts surveyed were: Cardenas (CA-29), Correa (CA-46), Peters (CA-52), Murphy (FL-07), Mrvan (IN-01), Auchincloss (MA-4), Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rice (NY-4), Schrader (OR-05), and Strickland (WA-10). In response to the poll’s findings, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“This poll confirms what we already know to be true: drug prices in this country are out of control, and Americans are demanding change. Voters across the political spectrum want Medicare to have the power to negotiate for lower prices and are willing to make their elected officials pay at the ballot box if they fail to act. Voters also overwhelmingly reject Pharma’s big lie that giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices will harm innovation.” 

See the full PPP memo and toplines. 

Key Findings:

  • Voters of all political party affiliations agree that prescription drug prices are too high in this country: 88% of Democrats, 89% of independents, and 79% of Republicans think prices are too high.
  • A majority of Republicans (54%) and almost three-quarters (73%) of independents support giving Medicare negotiating power to lower drug prices, along with nearly all (90%) of Democrats.
  • Voters reject the argument that allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices would slow down innovation. Fewer than 1 in 10 voters support this argument. By a margin of 70% (77-7%), voters would rather “allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies” than are concerned that it will “undercut drug companies’ ability to innovate and develop new drugs.”
  • Members of Congress risk losing support from voters of all political affiliations if they oppose allowing Medicare to have the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. A third (33%) of Republicans, almost half (45%) of independents, and 60% of Democrats say they would be less likely to vote for them.
  • A large majority (71% of all voters and 72% of voters over the age of 65) strongly support making sure Americans do not pay more for the same prescription drugs than people pay in other countries.
  • A further 70% of all voters and 75% of voters older than 65 strongly support using the savings from lower drug prices to provide hearing, dental, and vision coverage to people on Medicare as well as lower health insurance premiums for millions more.

NEW: Protect Our Care Announces “Lower Rx Summer” as Part of Its Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06) and Leaders from AARP and Little Lobbyists Joined Protect Our Care To Announce Summer of Action to Reduce Drug Prices for All Americans

Lower Rx Summer Will Include Themed Weeks, Ad Campaigns, National and State Events and a Nationwide Tour in August

Watch the Event Here.

Washington D.C.– Today on a press call with Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) , Nancy LeaMond of AARP, and Elena Hung of Little Lobbyists, Protect Our Care announced a “Lower Rx Summer” as part of The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices. Lower Rx Summer will consist of themed weeks of action to demonstrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans. 

In the coming months, President Biden and members of Congress have an unprecedented opportunity to finally take action to lower drug prices. In 2019, House Democrats passed 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. In April, Rep. Pallone reintroduced this legislation, giving Congress another opportunity to lower prescription drug costs, and meet the demands of voters. Big Pharma has taken notice and is spending millions to spread lies about H.R. 3 and stop any meaningful reform. Protect Our Care will be reminding Americans just what’s at stake in the fight to bring down drug prices. 

Throughout the summer, Protect Our Care will hold virtual and in-person events with allies, advocates, storytellers and elected officials and release new reports to illustrate the devastating impact of high drug prices on American families. Lower Rx Summer will include research, paid and earned media, and grassroots and grasstops engagement. It will be capped off by a national tour in August. The effort will focus substantially on lifting up the stories of Americans of all walks of life struggling to afford the high cost of prescription drugs, and especially those suffering from life-altering diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.    

“We need to continue to raise awareness about the importance of passing H.R. 3 and the need to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. Prescription drug prices are out of control, and it’s only getting worse,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06).  “Americans pay more than any other country in the world for the exact same medications. And even at the height of the pandemic and the global economic crisis, Big Pharma increased their prices on over 300 drugs in the United States at the beginning of the year. It’s time that we empower the federal government to negotiate fair prescription drug prices.”

“On behalf of AARP’s 38 million members and all older Americans, AARP is calling on Congress to pass comprehensive prescription drug reform,” said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer at AARP. “Every day, we hear about the tough decisions older Americans face as drug prices continue to skyrocket. Medicare beneficiaries, on average, take between four and five prescription medications each month and have a median income of almost $30,000 a year. They simply can’t afford skyrocketing prescription drug prices. The time for action is now.”

“Many of our families rely on the innovation and development of life-saving medications to treat and sustain our children with complex medical needs and disabilities. Those medications, however, are only life-saving if the patient can afford them,” said Elena Hung, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists. “Therefore, we call on Congress to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices so our families can access the life-saving medications our children need to survive and thrive.” 

“Protect Our Care is embarking on this journey because millions of people are struggling to afford lifesaving medications. As drug companies are raking in record profits, Americans are facing impossible choices between affording medications and paying rent or putting food on the table. And despite everything this country has been through during the pandemic, Big Pharma recently hiked the prices of more than 1,000 medications — not because of any new innovation, but because they could,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The time to put an end to Big Pharma’s greed is now. The momentum is with us: nine out of 10 Americans agree that Medicare should have the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. Seniors, women, children, communities of color, and everyone purchasing prescription drugs stand to benefit from this policy. This summer, Protect Our Care will make sure people know which of their elected officials are supporting efforts to bring down drug prices, and which ones are committed to protecting Big Pharma’s profits.”

Later this month, Protect Our Care will launch digital ads in 13 target states: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Themed Weeks for Lower Rx Summer

Week 1 (June 7): The Skyrocketing Price of Prescription Drugs

Week 2 (June 14): Pushing Back on Big Pharma’s Lies

Week 3 (June 21): How High Drug Prices Hurt Seniors

Week 4 (June 28): How High Drug Prices Hurt Women

Week 5 (July 5): How High Drug Prices Hurt People with Disabilities

Week 6 (July 12): How High Drug Prices Hurt People of Color

Week 7 (July 19): How High Drug Prices Hurt Small Businesses

Week 8 (July 26): How High Drug Prices Hurt Children

More Than 150 Lawmakers Ask President Biden: Give Medicare the Power To Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices And Use Savings to Expand Coverage

Washington, D.C. — More than 150 House Democrats signed a letter calling on the Biden administration to include prescription drug reform in the American Families Plan. Specifically, the lawmakers want to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices for all Americans and use those savings to expand and improve coverage for millions. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“Today’s letter shows once again there is overwhelming support in Congress, like there is across the country, for giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. Empowering Medicare to negotiate is the single most effective way to lower drug prices for both patients and taxpayers. As it stands, Americans pay three times as much for drugs as people in other countries, forcing millions to choose between taking their medicine and buying their groceries or paying rent. There has never been a more critical time to bring down drug prices, and this letter makes clear that progressive and moderate lawmakers are committed to delivering on their promises to the American people. Last year, the House passed H.R. 3, and this letter is further indication they will do it again.”

Prescription Drug Reform Must Include Medicare Negotiation

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans Support Giving Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices

Washington, D.C. — News reports have indicated that a small group of lawmakers in the House are walking back their commitment to giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. This comes as Big Pharma is breaking records for the money it’s spending on lobbyists to block any meaningful legislation to lower prices for patients. Meanwhile, President Biden reiterated his commitment to allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices just last month. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“It is outrageous that Medicare — the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the country — is banned from negotiating prices on behalf of the American people. The ban on negotiation was put in place by Republicans at the behest of big drug companies to protect their profits, and now Democrats have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse course. No matter what other policies lawmakers support to lower drug costs, giving Medicare the power and the teeth to negotiate for lower drug prices is the key to getting the job done. Anything else is a sham. No policy could do more to meaningfully bring down drug prices. And despite Big Pharma’s PAC contributions and bogus claims, nearly 90 percent of Americans across the political spectrum support Medicare negotiations. The House passed H.R. 3 last year and the Speaker and House leaders have said they will do it again, and everyone who truly cares about lowering drug prices should be fighting for and not against H.R. 3.” 

BACKGROUND

Protect Our Care recently launched The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices with an ad running on television nationally and digitally in 12 key states to demonstrate the urgent need for comprehensive legislation to lower drug prices

House Oversight Committee Showcases AbbVie’s Abuse of America’s Broken Drug Pricing System

Washington, DC — Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing with AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez, investigating the drug company’s price gouging and anticompetitive practices. In 2003, AbbVie launched its signature arthritis drug, Humira, which has since become the best-selling drug in the world — raking in $21 billion in sales in 2019 alone. AbbVie has raised the price of Humira an astounding 27 times, most recently in January when it hiked its cost by 7.4 percent. During the hearing led by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Democrats made a strong and compelling case for giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans. Republicans, on the other hand, defended AbbVie’s abuse of the broken drug pricing system. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“We commend Chairwoman Maloney and House Democrats for holding AbbVie accountable in today’s hearing. Year after year, AbbVie hikes the prices of its most expensive medications, not because of any improvement to their drugs or increased cost of development — but just because they can. For far too long, too many Americans have been forced to skip their medications because companies like AbbVie care more about their profits than people’s health. The House Oversight Committee’s investigation lays bare the need for giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, and particularly as the country recovers from the COVID-19 economic and health crisis, American families cannot wait.” 

Protect Our Care submitted a written statement for today’s hearing. Last week, Protect Our Care launched The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices with an ad running on television nationally and digitally in 12 key states to demonstrate the urgent need for comprehensive legislation to lower drug prices.