March 22, 2021

Senators Hassan, Shaheen, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Older Americans by Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices

Tomorrow, Senator Hassan Will Participate in a Hearing on Ways to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined in introducing legislation to lower the costs of prescription drugs for older Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate the best possible price when it pays for prescription drugs. Current law prohibits Medicare from bargaining for prices.  

 

“Because Medicare can’t negotiate drug prices, older Granite Staters and Americans are needlessly over-paying for their prescription drugs,” Senator Hassan said. “This legislation would finally allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices on behalf of the nearly 46 million older Americans who rely on Medicare for their lifesaving medication, leveraging Medicare’s buying power to directly reduce costs for seniors. We must address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, and this bill would take long-overdue steps to do just that.”

 

“Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug costs is a common-sense solution to one of the most serious problems impacting Granite Staters and Americans across the country: sky-high drug costs. And this is especially concerning among our more vulnerable senior populations who live on fixed incomes. Congress can and should take action,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m glad to partner with Senator Klobuchar and this group of Senators to push forward meaningful legislation that would ensure seniors can afford the prescriptions they need to stay healthy without having to sacrifice other important personal finances.”

 

The Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that expressly bans Medicare from negotiating for better prices.

 

Senators Hassan and Shaheen are working to make health care more affordable for Granite Staters and Americans. Tomorrow at 10 AM, Senator Hassan will participate in a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on ways to reduce prescription drug costs. Click here to watch.

 

The American Rescue Plan, which Senators Hassan and Shaheen helped pass into law, will lower premium payments for many Americans purchasing health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Additionally, Senators Hassan and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) recently led successful efforts to include a provision in the year-end package that was signed into law to help end the absurd practice of surprise medical billing. Additionally, in 2019, President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Hassan and Cassidy to close a loophole in the Medicaid rebate program that results in big pharmaceutical companies overcharging taxpayers. The bipartisan legislation will save taxpayers approximately $3.1 billion over the next 10 years.

 

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