Washington DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) joined patient advocates and Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act’s critical measures to lower health care premiums and prescription drug costs for the American people.
The event comes just two days after the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, and now, the House is expected to vote on the historic legislation later this week. The bill lowers health care premiums by extending enhanced premium tax credits for ACA plans for three years and drives down prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower costs for millions of Americans, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for drugs at $2,000 per year, and stopping many of Big Pharma’s egregious annual price hikes. This bill will help lower costs for millions of working families and address the deep racial inequities in our health care system.
“The immediate benefits of this legislation are real,” said Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL). “First, we’re going to see the broad benefits that come from Medicare negotiation, and we’re going to be able to use it in a way that is going to protect consumers, taxpayers and employers without harming innovation. Then secondly, we are going to bring immediate financial benefits to seniors on Medicare with a $2,000 cap on drug costs and a $35 monthly cap on insulin. This is going to extend the life of Medicare, this is going to lower costs for taxpayers.”
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass the Inflation Reduction Act and reduce health care and prescription drug costs for millions of Americans,” said Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14). “My Health Care Affordability Act has significantly lowered health care costs, increased coverage, and improved equity for families by expanding premium tax credits, and the Inflation Reduction Act would continue these historic advancements.”
“Premium savings meant freedom to actually go to the doctor and spend our deductible, and have access to the care we needed as we approached our retirement years. It also meant freedom to consider earlier retirement options and possible career changes,” said Chrysa Otenso, a small business owner from Wisconsin. “It also allowed us to give substantial raises to our employees so that together with the subsidies, they could all finally access affordable health care. For so many in my community these subsidies can mean freedom to open a business, change jobs and follow their dreams.”
“Democrats in Congress are on the cusp of passing the greatest health care achievement since the Affordable Care Act. The Inflation Reduction Act will make a real difference in the lives of millions. By reducing health care premiums and reining in drug prices, President Biden and Democratic lawmakers are making good on their promise to make health care more affordable, accessible, and equitable, ” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats are fighting against unified Republican opposition and a $100 million lobbying campaign from Big Pharma — but this is an issue of life and death, and Americans are depending on Congress to get this over the finish line.”