[Ip-health] House Press release on Medicare bill: Reps. Doggett, Welch and Cummings Unveil Bold, Market-Driven Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

James Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Jul 25 11:16:58 PDT 2018

This is the press release that Doggett, Cummings and Welch issued.

For Immediate Release
July 25, 2018

Kate Stotesbery (Doggett) 202-225-4865
Aryele Bradford (Cummings) 202-226-5181
Kate Hamilton (Welch) 202-440-3340

Reps. Doggett, Welch and Cummings Unveil Bold, Market-Driven Plan to Lower
Prescription Drug Prices

Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Doggett, Welch, and Cummings unveiled new
legislation with more than 60 original cosponsors to address the
prescription drug affordability crisis: The Medicare Negotiation and
Competitive Licensing Act. In the 56 days since President Trump promised
major price cuts were coming within just 14 days, one drug maker after
another has done the opposite. Using the market power of Medicare to help
address this price gouging is certainly not a new idea, but what is unique
about this new legislation is how to make the negotiation process
successful. Today, these members are offering the plan that Americans have
been demanding: A bold approach to Medicare negotiation that harnesses the
government’s purchasing power and relies on market-driven competition to
restrain monopoly pricing.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) said, “It’s time to put patients over
price-gouging. Negotiation, bidding, competition—a truly American way to
get Americans affordable drug prices, to stop putting America last. Our
replacement would authorize Medicare to negotiate reasonable prices much as
the Veterans Administration already does. This bill calls the President’s
bluff on his drug pricing promises. It would give him the very bidding
authority to save billions that he promised and back that authority up with
the power of good ol’ American competition through competitive licensing.
Patients cannot wait.”

“It defies logic that the federal government is not using its enormous
purchasing power to get a better deal for seniors on prescription drugs.
Paying retail prices for wholesale purchases is absurd. It's long past time
we put an end this sweetheart deal for Big Pharma and provide urgently
needed relief to seniors and taxpayers,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont).

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) said, “We have a President who talks
tough on lowering drug prices, but the day his pricing plan came out, drug
company stocks went up. Why? Because they know his plan is not the real
deal. It does not make the big change he promised—allowing Medicare to
negotiate. As long as we live in a world where drug companies can
arbitrarily pick and choose which drugs to jack up in price and which ones
to lower as a symbolic gesture, it is the pharmaceutical industry that is
winning. Families can no longer be at the mercy of drug companies. We need
systemic reform, and this bill would provide it.”

This legislation is backed by more than 60 Democratic cosponsors, and
endorsed by the organizations below:

Public Citizen, Social Security Works, Center for Medicare Advocacy,
Consumers Union, Families USA, Patients for Affordable Drugs, Community
Catalyst, AFSCME, American Federation of Teachers, Small Business Majority,
CREDO, Consumer Action, Health Care for America Now (HCAN), UNITE HERE!,
National Physicians Alliance, American Medical Students Association, Daily
Kos, People’s Action, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, ACT UP New
York, Progressive Democrats of America, People of Faith for Access to
Medicines, Clinicians for Progressive Care, Physicians for a National
Health Program, People Demanding Action, Business Initiative for Health

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

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