For Immediate Release
December 12, 2019
Jason Erskine / 206-604-7085
Cathy MacCaul / 206-218-5915
AARP Washington Applauds the House for Passing the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drugs Costs Now Act
WASHINGTON STATE - AARP Washington State Director Doug Shadel released the following statement today, applauding Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-1), Denny Heck (D-10), Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-3), Pramila Jayapal (D-7), Derek Kilmer (D-6), Rick Larsen (D-2), Kim Schrier (D-8) and Adam Smith (D-9) of the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to pass H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
“AARP Washington commends Reps. Suzan DelBene (D), Denny Heck (D), Jamie Herrera Beutler (R), Pramila Jayapal (D), Derek Kilmer (D), Rick Larsen (D), Kim Schrier (D) and Adam Smith (D) for helping pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This bipartisan legislation is a bold step toward lowering prescription drug prices and high out-of-pocket costs for millions of older Americans, including our nearly 940,000 members in the state.
“H.R. 3 would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, 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 Washington is counting on Senators Maria Cantwell (D) and Patty Murray (D) to continue their commitment to lowering prescription drug prices for all Americans by passing the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act. The President and Congress will need to work together to get this done.”
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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 more than 940,000 AARP members in Washington State, and 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/wa or follow @AARPWA and @AARPadvocates on social media.