Weekly Democratic Address
October 4, 2019
Hello, I’m Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester from Delaware. When I ran to represent the First State in Congress, my constituents and people across the nation demanded action to lower health care costs and improve access to quality health care. And Congress promised to follow through.
Since January, Members of the House have worked to deliver on that promise. Through our For the People agenda, we further strengthened our nation’s health care system by building upon the Affordable Care Act.
But we still have more work to do. This week, my colleagues and I are back in our districts, speaking to our constituents about the latest and boldest part of our For the People agenda: H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
House Democrats are putting the American people first and directly addressing a broken system where Americans pay five, ten, sometimes 60 times more than others around the world pay for the same drug. Our dynamic approach to tackle our prescription drug system will bring prices down for seniors, for Americans using health care exchanges and even for the 180 million Americans with employer-sponsored coverage.
Soaring drug prices touch everyone’s wallets, from millennials to middle-aged parents to seniors. America’s patients and taxpayers can’t afford for this broken prescription drug system to continue.
That’s why the Lower Drug Costs Act Now [Now Act] levels the playing field and drives down costs for Americans in four key ways.
For the first time since the creation of the Medicare prescription drug program, the government will be allowed to negotiate the prescription drug prices for medications that millions of Americans rely on but find themselves increasingly unable to afford. Our plan will tie the prices Americans pay to the lower prices charged for the same drugs in other countries. Regardless of where Americans get their health insurance, they will benefit from these lower prices.
Prescription drug companies will no longer be able to drastically hike up the price of drugs. If they do, they’ll pay a penalty.
Seniors who are part of the Medicare prescription drug program will be protected with a cap on their out-of-pocket costs and the sky will no longer be the limit for how much they will pay for their medicine.
And finally, with the savings this bill generates, we can make critical reinvestments into innovation and new cures at the National Institutes of Health while also improving Medicare benefits.
As a witness who came before the House Energy & Commerce Committee told us, “If you can’t afford it, you don’t have it.” The bottom-line is that every American deserves high-quality affordable health care. We can do this, we must do this and together, we will do this, For the People.
Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.