President Trump in his State of The Union Address, called on Congress to send him bipartisan legislation that would cut the soaring price of prescription drugs.
“Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law immediately,” Trump said. “I have been speaking to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done quickly and properly.”
President Trump: Drug Price Cuts A Must!
Sen. Grassley, a Republican, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are sponsoring legislation that would cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients. The bill also requires drug manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare if they raise prices more than the rate of inflation.
As of this moment, their bill has passed the Senate Finance Committee, which Grassley chairs, but has not yet been voted on by the full Senate.
In the House of Representatives, lawmakers last year passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which also puts a cap on out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare enrollees. That measure, also directs Medicare to negotiate prices for many high-priced, life-saving medications.
President Trump: Strong Consumer Advocacy For Price Caps
Since last year, many consumer advocate organizations have urged both federal and state lawmakers to pass laws that curb the high prices of prescription drugs.
The response by local and state politicians thus far has been much talk but no action. Indeed, Drug manufacturers raised the price of 500 of their prescription drugs during the first week of January 2020.
During the Democratic Party’s response to the president’s speech, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talked about how personal this health issue is for her. She recounted being up all night with the baby, and then fighting insurance companies during the day to get chemotherapy coverage for her mother, when coverage was wrongly denied.
Gov. Whitmer also described how several governors are working to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.