WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Americans all around the country simply can’t afford their medications.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says HR 3, the Democratic bill passed by the house, would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices.
“As stupid as it may sound, right now the law prohibits HHS or Medicare from negotiating with drug companies,” Cleaver said.
It would also cap annual out of pocket expenses for seniors or Medicare at $2,000 and stop drug companies from raising prices without a good reason.
“This will have a very very positive effect on people’s access to life-saving health-sustaining prescription drugs,” House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer said.
President Trump and Senate Republicans also say they want to lower the cost of prescription drugs but oppose HR 3.
“There’s got to be a way that we can slow down those price increases without impacting the desire to make improvements to those drugs in the future,” Senator Mike Rounds said.
Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenaur doesn’t believe lowering drug prices will prevent the development of new treatments.
“I just think that’s cynical. In the long run they’re not going to punish the American consumers and threaten their future,” Blumenaur said.
Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus hopes senators will take the bill seriously.
“They’re going to have to answer to their constituents. everywhere I go in Las Vegas, the voters tell me can’t you do something about the high price of drugs?” Titus said.
But Republicans say their own proposal is more bipartisan and more likely to become law.