Even as Big Pharma Ramps Up Its Campaign to Force Americans to Continue to Pay More for Drugs Than Consumers in Other Countries, Advocates, Patients and Elected Officials Are Unbowed 

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates are calling on Congress to include transformative measures to lower health costs and improve care in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the Medicaid gap, expand Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision, and reduce health care premiums for millions of Americans purchasing coverage on their own. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices would save patients more than $150 billion at the pharmacy counter and create $500 billion in savings for the federal government that could be reinvested in other measures to strengthen health care for American families. There has never been a more urgent time to improve health care access, and these op-eds demonstrate that any lawmaker that tries to stand in the way is rejecting the will of the American people. 

HEADLINES

(DE) Lucretia Young, State Director For AARP Delaware, In Delaware Online: Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “Allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. An AARP survey shows that 87% of registered voters 50 plus support allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies…It’s not fair that Americans are stuck paying the highest prices in the world for our prescription drugs. These prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford to take them.” [Delaware Online, 8/19/21]

(NJ) Dr. Aakash Shah, Bergen County Emergency Medicine Physician, In North Jersey: Prescription Drug Reform Is Long Overdue. “As many as 20% of New Jerseyans report having to forego filling a prescription because of its high cost, 24% of Americans report having difficulty paying for their prescription medications, and 36% of Americans report having to forego filling a prescription medication or cutting doses in half because they need money to pay for essential bills…Prescription drug reform is long overdue.” [North Jersey, 8/10/21]

(AZ) Alex Juarez, Communications Director Of AARP Arizona, In The Arizona Republic: Prescription Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing. Will Congress Finally Act? “It’s not fair that Americans are stuck paying the highest prices in the world for our prescription drugs. These prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford to take them. The president and Congress agree we need to lower drug prices – now it’s time for them to get it done.” [Arizona Republic, 8/31/21

(PA) State Rep. Jessica Benham In The Pennsylvania Capitol Star: It’s Long Past Time We Stopped Treating Healthcare Like A Privilege. “In the coming weeks, Congress can make every single one of these policies a reality through budget reconciliation. Voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support these measures and are demanding their elected officials act. But while Democrats are fighting tirelessly to lower costs and expand coverage, Republicans have already indicated that they are standing by Big Pharma and other special interests over the American people.” [Pennsylvania Capitol-Star, 8/29/21]  

(NH) Jayme Simões, Protect Our Care New Hampshire Chair, In Union Leader: Pandemic Taught Us Health Care Is A Right Not A Privilege. “In New Hampshire, as many as 25% of residents report that they did not fill a prescription due to cost. The average annual cost of brand name prescription drugs in New Hampshire jumped by 58% between 2012 and 2017, while Granite Staters’ annual income increased by only 13%. It does not have to be this way.” [Union Leader, 9/1/21]

(OH) Rep. Tim Ryan In Akron Beacon Journal: Tim Ryan Backs Bill Aimed At Lowering Prescription Drug Prices. “As Congress negotiates the upcoming budget bill, we must prioritize lowering drug prices for Americans, so we can keep more money in the pockets of seniors and families, here in Ohio and nationwide. The best way to do that is to give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices, which will result in savings for all.” [Akron Beacon Journal, 8/19/21]