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
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.”