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Rep. Cuellar fights to lower costs of drugs and expand Medicare

Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) fights to lower prescription drug costs and expand Medicare by voting for H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. This legislation will provide expansions of Medicare’s benefits to include dental, vision and hearing for the first time in the history of the program. Furthermore, H.R. 3 also includes critical funding to assist innovation in the search for new cures and treatments, as well as funding to combat the opioid crisis.

“Many Americans work too hard not have access to affordable prescription drugs,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This legislation will lower the price of life saving medication for those who need it as well as expand Medicare benefits, ensuring those who need treatment, get treatment. We will expand access to care and lower drug prices for the American people while saving nearly $500 billion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. I am committed to helping Americans afford their prescription drugs and get the healthcare they need to be healthy.” 

“I would like to thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee Frank Pallone, and Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee Richie Neal for their work in crafting this vital legislation.” 

H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, includes: 

  • Gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies, and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need. 
  • Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Limits the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs.
  • Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare. 
  • Reinvests in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments at the National Institute of Health. 

In TX-28, there are 73,519 people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 361,305 people enrolled in private health insurance—all of whom stand to benefit from the passage of H.R. 3. 

H.R. 3 the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 provides funding to subsidize drug costs