Washington, DC – Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), and Education & Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) released a joint statement announcing that H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, will come to a floor vote next week. The National Coalition on Health Care supports H.R. 3 to lower prescription drug prices and urges its swift passage to the U.S. Senate.
“We applaud the U.S. House Leadership for their support in targeting the explosive rise in pharmaceutical costs in America,” said John Rother, President of the National Coalition on Health Care. “It is time Congress acted to provide tangible relief to millions of Americans who cannot afford the drugs they need.”
A recent study by the Healthcare Value Hub found that U.S. prescription drug prices increased by an average of 24.9 percent from 2012 to 2016, far outpacing other drivers of health care costs, and prescription drug spending by Americans increased by 27.2 percent during the same time period. Research shows that health care price growth is the leading reason for high healthcare spending in America, and a 2017 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that nearly one-third of the U.S. population has gone without needed medical care due to cost concerns.
H.R. 3 addresses these problems by allowing the government to negotiate prices for a select list of drugs on which we spend the most, and cap capricious increases on pharmaceutical prices. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reportedly estimates that drug negotiations in H.R. 3 would save $500 billion over a decade – savings that could be used for other health or non-health spending. An official estimate is slated to release next week.
The National Coalition on Health Care urges swift passage of this legislation to the U.S. Senate to ensure all Americans receive the necessary health care they need at an affordable cost.