Bill Would Extend Medicare Drug Price Negotiation to All Americans Who Get Health Insurance Through Work or on the Private Market
Red Bank, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) held a press conference today on new legislation he introduced last week to lower prescription drug costs. Nearly one year ago, Pallone joined President Biden as he signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, granting Medicare the authority to negotiate lower drug prices for America’s seniors for the first time and capping out of pocket costs annually at $2,000 for seniors. It also penalizes pharmaceutical companies that unfairly raised prices faster than the rate of inflation.
Thanks to the inflation penalty, seniors are already saving upwards of $449 on their coinsurance costs, while under the cap, an estimated 473,370 New Jerseyans will save an average $519.78 beginning in 2025. The law also further reduced drug prices for seniors by capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month, helping over 39,000 New Jerseyans.
“The Inflation Reduction Act finally granted Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors, however, the fight is not over,” Pallone said. “The Lowering Drug Costs for American Families Act will build on this progress by providing those same lower negotiated prices to all Americans who are covered by private health plans. It also protects consumers against unfair price hikes and increases the number of drugs Medicare can negotiate on each year, meaning lower prices on more drugs sooner. This bill is part of House Democrats’ ongoing efforts to lower health care and prescription drug costs for hardworking American families.”
The Lowering Drug Costs for American Families Act builds on the progress of the Inflation Reduction Act by ensuring more Americans can benefit from the law’s provisions by:
“We applaud Congressman Pallone for introducing the Lowering Drug Costs for American Families Act,” said NJCA Healthcare Program Director Laura Waddell. “This will bring more health care affordability measures to more families by extending the lower negotiated prices our seniors will be getting, to all Americans who are covered by private health plans. We are pleased to see this effort to build upon the progresses that have been made, especially as we are about to mark the anniversary of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which brought historic prescription drug pricing reforms in Medicare. As they say, ‘so goes Medicare, so goes the rest of us,’ this is what that means. The standard set by the negotiation measures passed last year, created this path for the rest of us to benefit from lower prescription drug costs.”
In 2019, Pallone introduced H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill passed on the House Floor in December 2019 and later served as the blueprint for the drug pricing provisions included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
A section-by-section is available HERE.
Bill text is available HERE.