NEW HAMPSHIRE - Last night, Senator Maggie Hassan took questions from New Hampshire AARP members about the new measures that she and her colleagues fought for to lower health care costs and drive down prescription drug prices in the Inflation Reduction Act that was recently signed into law.
“We recently took a major step forward to lower costs and help more Granite Staters afford the medication that they need with the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law,” said Senator Hassan to open the teletown hall. “The provision of the act that allows Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs will be a game changer for older Americans— and AARP members have been vital advocates in finally getting this done.”
When asked about how the bill will be implemented, Megan O’Reilly, Vice President of Health and Family for AARP, listed various real-life implications, including insulin in Medicare being capped at $35 a month for beneficiaries and the ability for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
“These are policies that AARP has been fighting for for decades and were the cornerstone of our advocacy efforts before Congress,” O’Reilly said. “The reason these are so important is, bottom line, it’s going to mean that Pharma is no longer getting a blank check.”
When asked about how Big Pharma is reacting to this new legislation, Senator Hassan said that “the big drug companies fought us every step of the way on this very common sense, widely supported and critical legislation. The reality is that Big Pharma, the lobbying groups, send about two lobbyists to Washington for every one Member of Congress, and they have tried to use one scare tactic after the next to discourage Members of Congress from supporting this basic Medicare negotiation that's just so critically important to keep the prices of drugs in check so that seniors can actually afford them and don't have to choose between paying for medication and paying rent or utility bills for example.”
“I was proud to stand up against Big Pharma because I stand with my constituents, and the people of the Granite State did an excellent job of telling their stories,” Senator Hassan added.
Concluding the conversation, O’Reilly stated, “Thank you to Senator Hassan, for your efforts to finally deliver on the promise of lower drug prices for Granite Staters and Americans all across this country. We have been in this fight for decades, and it's exciting that this is now the law of the land.”
Last night’s town hall follows a press conference that Senator Hassan held with AARP and New Hampshire health care leaders last month. In addition to her work on the Inflation Reduction Act, Senator Hassan also led successful, bipartisan efforts with Senator Cassidy to help end the practice of surprise medical billing, which is now in effect. In addition, they successfully passed into law their bipartisan legislation to enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower drug costs.