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Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko Voted for Higher Drug Prices and Higher Insurance Premiums for New York

By November 30, 2021No Comments

Albany, NY — The Build Back Better Act will deliver long-overdue relief to New York families by lowering insurance premiums, giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expanding Medicare benefits to cover hearing, and investing $150 billion in home care for seniors and people with disabilities. By voting against Build Back Better, Representatives Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), and John Katko (NY-24) voted against lowering health care costs for working families — despite overwhelming support from their own constituents. 

“Time and again, Republicans are failing the people of New York on health care,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “New Yorkers from all walks of life support policies to lower drug prices, expand coverage, improve care for seniors, and level the playing field for working families, but Republicans continue to put industry profits ahead of their constituents. By opposing Build Back Better, Republicans proved they are out of touch with the economic and health worries that keep families up at night. Just like their attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act, this vote will haunt the GOP for years to come.” 

Here’s what Republicans’ vote against Build Back Better means: 

Republicans Voted For Higher Drug Prices 

Republicans Opposed Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices. For nearly 20 years, Medicare has been banned from negotiating the price of prescription drugs, and Big Pharma has been able to dictate prices while Americans pay three times more for their medications than people in other countries. Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko voted with their Big Pharma allies to continue to block Medicare from negotiating the prices for select drugs purchased at the pharmacy counter and administered at the doctor’s office. 

Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko Opposed Capping Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Seniors. Republicans voted against helping seniors with serious conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis save thousands of dollars on prescriptions, by opposing the Build Back Better Act which caps Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year beginning in 2024. 

Republicans Voted Against Lowering the Price of Insulin. Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko opposed capping insulin co-pays for all Americans with insurance at $35 each month. 

Republicans Voted To Allow Unlimited Price Increases On Prescription Drugs. Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko voted against stopping Big Pharma from raising prices faster than the rate of inflation as part of the Build Back Better Act. This cap will apply to all Americans, no matter whether you are insured or not, and no matter what kind of insurance you have, and is essential to stop arbitrary price increases on essential medications. 

Republicans Voted For Higher Health Insurance Premiums 

Republicans Voted Against Helping Nine Million Americans Save On Monthly Premiums. Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko voted against helping nine million Americans save an average of $600 annually on their premiums when they buy insurance on their own through the ACA Marketplaces. For a family of four making $80,000 a year, premiums will drop nearly $250 a month, or nearly $3,000 a year. 

Republicans Opposed Premium Relief For Middle Income Families. The Build Back Better ensures families above will pay no more than 8.5 percent of their income towards health coverage. This will help middle-income families facing excessive premiums or living in high-premium areas.

Republicans Voted Against Expanding Medicare Benefits

Republicans Voted Against Giving Access To Hearing Care To Millions Of Seniors. Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko voted against adding hearing coverage to Medicare Part B starting in 2023. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that a Medicare hearing benefit could aid all 62 million Medicare beneficiaries, particularly the 36 million purchasing coverage on their own or simply going without.

Republicans Opposed Health Care For Mothers 

Republicans Voted Against Providing 12 Months Of Continuous Coverage To Women Following Childbirth.  Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko voted to deny 12 months of continuous coverage to postpartum women on Medicaid. In 2018, 45 percent of births were paid for by Medicaid, with 50 percent or more births covered by the program in 22 states. Medicaid covers 65 percent of all births to Black mothers. 

Republicans Voted Against Funding Health Equity Measures To Reduce Maternal Deaths. The Build Back Better Act includes $295 million to bolster and diversify the perinatal health workforce, including funding for midwives and doulas whose involvement is essential to reducing maternal deaths. An additional $100 million has been included for maternal mental health equity and $50 million for maternal health research at Minority-Serving Institutions.

Republicans Voted Against Extending And Protecting Health Insurance Coverage for Children (CHIP) 

Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko Voted Against Permanent Funding For The Children’s Health Insurance Program. Republicans voted against the Build Back Better Act, which provides for a permanent extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 

Republicans Voted Against Keeping Children on Medicaid For A Full Year. The Build Back Better Act requires states to provide 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP. States that don’t provide continuous coverage experience increased churn, or children who dis-enrolled and re-enrolled in coverage within the same year. 

Republicans Voted Against Expanding Home And Community-Based Services To Allow Americans To Grow Old At Home 

Representatives Garbarino, Tenney, and Katko Opposed Allowing Millions of Americans To Grow Old At Home. Medicaid is currently the largest provider of home and community-based care, providing essential services to seniors and people with disabilities. Republicans voted against the Build Back Better Act, which will provide an additional $150 billion for home and community-based services, that would provide care to the 2.5 million Americans already participating in the program, and help alleviate the current waitlist of more than 800,000 individuals. Federally provided home and community-based services funds helped more than 100,000 individuals return to their homes and communities from nursing facilities between 2008 and 2019, highlighting the enormous need for Build Back Better to strengthen this essential program.

Republicans Voted Against Helping Families Save An Estimated $5,800 In Home Care Costs. Older Americans and people with disabilities are often forced to liquidate their assets to afford as little as two years of in-home care. The HCBS provisions included in the Build Back Better Act will save families paying out-of-pocket an estimated $5,800 a year for four hours of care per week.