Pappas Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Prices for Granite Staters with Passage of H.R.3
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) voted to pass H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will help lower the cost of prescription drugs for Granite Staters and people across the country and level the playing field for people dealing with the skyrocketing costs of their medications. This bill gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies, and the lower prices negotiated by Medicare will be transparent so that private insurance companies can make the same prices available to their consumers. It also creates a new $2000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
Pappas’s provision, the Advancing Enrollment and Reducing Drug Costs Act of 2019, will expand low-income seniors' access to prescription drugs under the Medicare prescription drug benefit program, also known as Medicare Part D. This bill would automatically enroll this population so that they have access to the drugs that they need and supports some of our most vulnerable seniors. This will cut red tape and streamline bureaucracy while making it easier for low-income seniors to access lifesaving prescription drugs.
“When I travel around New Hampshire asking constituents what's on their minds, there's no topic more urgent or more personal than combating the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs,” said Congressman Pappas. “I've heard from a senior who is unable to retire because his life is dependent on drugs that cost $3,000 a month out of pocket. I've heard from a mother who shares a painful chronic condition with her daughter, and has to decide every month whose prescription to fill because she can't fill both on her fixed income. Americans can no longer afford Big Pharma's runaway costs. It is time to deliver transformational change and pass H.R. 3 to ensure the health and well-being of the American people. I am proud to support this historic legislation to drive down costs while expanding and strengthening Medicare. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to take action and pass a bill we can send to President Trump’s desk for his signature. America is counting on us.”
Congressman Pappas has held regular events and town halls in the First District since taking office specially dealing with the issue of prescription drug costs. While serving as a member of New Hampshire’s Executive Council, Chris worked to develop and provided the key vote to implement the Medicaid expansion, which insured more than 53,000 Granite Staters.
In NH-01, there are 94,270 people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 514,858 people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from H.R.3. For example, those living with cancer, arthritis, asthma, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis are expected to experience significant savings as a result of H.R.3:
- Patients living with breast cancer: In 2019, an estimated 1,330 women in New Hampshire will be diagnosed with breast cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the breast cancer medication Ibrance by 65%.
- Patients living with leukemia: In 2019, an estimated 260 people in NH will be diagnosed with leukemia. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the leukemia medication Tasigna by 71%
- Patients living with prostate cancer: In 2019, an estimated 1,030 people in New Hampshire will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the prostate cancer medication Zytiga by 66%.
- Patients with arthritis: 23% of New Hampshire residents have arthritis, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.
- Patients with asthma: About 142,205 residents of New Hampshire live with asthma, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.
- Patients with HIV/AIDS : In 2015, 34 New Hampshire residents were diagnosed with HIV, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.
- Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS): One million people are living with MS in the United States, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most MS drugs from about $40,000 to $13,000 per year.
In addition to lowering prescription drug prices, H.R.3 also reinvests savings into expanding Medicare coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services for constituents in NH-01:
- About 99% of beneficiaries or 142,000 people stand to gain from adding a dental benefit.
- About 93% of beneficiaries or 132,700 people stand to gain from adding a vision benefit.
- About 95% of beneficiaries or 135,900 people stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit.