The House passed a sweeping bill on Thursday, Dec. 12th, to lower prescription drug prices. This came after months of back and forth negotiations between Pelosi and the White House.
Honored to preside as Acting Chair of the House committee of the whole and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for debate on H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act this morning. Glad to vote for it—and see it pass—a few hours later! pic.twitter.com/O6AlX7DrHB
— Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (@RepFletcher) December 12, 2019
It’s nice to see Pelosi and other Dems finally focusing on something that the American people actually care about. When asked about the vote, Rep. Kim Schrier (D-WA) said:
“What I hear most often is not impeachment, it’s not what’s on the front page of The Washington Post, it’s ‘What are you going to do about the cost of our prescription drugs?’ And this bill is an answer to my constituents.”
While the vote passed pretty much on party lines, two Republicans voted in favor of the bill: Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). They are both running for reelection in 2020.
The bill, called the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, was named after the deceased lawmaker who spent a lot of time trying to lower drug prices. It allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies to lower prices on 50 to 250 drugs per year.
Prices for drugs would be capped depending on what they cost in other countries. If a company refuses to negotiate with the secretary of Health and Human Services, they could be forced to pay up to 95% of any revenue they make for the drug they wouldn’t negotiate on.
Many Republicans have spoken out against the bill, saying that it would impose “price controls” and not really allow for any negotiations. The Congressional Budget Office claims that the bill could save Americans $456 billion over the next 10 years.
Trump has made it clear that he does not support this bill and prefers one that doesn’t allow for the negotiation of prices.
We’ll keep you updated on this bill as it now heads to the Senate for consideration.
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