Medicare Drug Prices Would Save Taxpayers $30B Annually

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Prescription Drug Costs

Taxpayers would save $30 billion in prescription drug costs if the federal government were directed to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over Medicare drug prices.

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With 85 percent of the country favoring the use of Medicare's collective bargaining power to lower prescription drug prices, Americans are using the Congressional recess to push for the elimination of a controversial provision in The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 that prohibits the government from interfering in negotiations between Part D plan participants and drug makers. House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were joined by several Republicans in passing legislation to remove the provision in January. Now senate leaders are pushing for a vote following the congressional recess.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., joined Campaign for America's Future co-director and report co-author Roger Hickey on a conference call with reporters today to release the new report. Sen. Stabenow said there's no excuse for gouging older Americans who depend on prescription drugs to live with extra costs.

"When so many Americans struggle to pay for the prescription drugs they need, it doesn't make sense to prohibit the federal government from negotiating the lowest possible drug prices on behalf of the 44 million seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare," said Sen. Stabenow. "The Senate must act to provide Medicare recipients the access to affordable prescription drugs they need and deserve."

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