St. Petersburg, Fla. — AARP State Director Jeff Johnson released the following statement today, applauding the 13 U.S. House members of the Florida delegation who voted to pass H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
“AARP Florida commends all those Florida members of Congress for helping to pass this important legislation in the U.S. House. This bipartisan legislation is a bold step toward lowering prescription drug prices and high out-of-pocket costs for millions of older Americans, including the 2.8 million AARP Florida members.”
“I specifically wish to thank Reps. Kathy Castor of Tampa, Charlie Crist of St. Petersburg, Val Demings of Orlando, Ted Deutch of Ft. Lauderdale, Lois Frankel of Boca Raton, Alcee Hastings of Miami, Al Lawson of Tallahassee, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Key West, Stephanie Murphy of Orlando, Donna Shalala of Miami, Darren Soto of Kissimmee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Sunrise, and Frederica Wilson of Miami.”
“I want to highlight that this legislation would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, a position favored by more than nine out of 10 older Florida voters in AARP surveys. The legislation also would set an annual out-of-pocket cap for seniors in Medicare Part D, and crack down on relentless drug price increases by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the $500 billion that the Congressional Budget Office estimates taxpayers will save over the next ten years would be reinvested back into the Medicare program to create important new dental, hearing, and vision benefits. These benefits would improve older adults’ health and well-being and reduce future health-care costs.”
“High drug prices disproportionately hurt older Americans, particularly Medicare Part D enrollees, who take between four and five prescription medications each month and have an average annual income of just over $26,000 a year. The average annual price of a specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now $79,000. Medications cannot work if they are unaffordable.”
“Now it’s time for the Senate to act. AARP Florida urges U.S. senators to take action to lower prescription drug prices. The President and Congress will need to work together to get this done. Americans are desperate for relief from high prescription drug prices.”
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.