Education and Labor Committee Votes to Advance Ambitious Proposal to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and Labor voted to advance the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3, an ambitious proposal to cut the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. The Committee advanced the bill on a party line vote, 27-21.

“The skyrocketing cost of drugs is undermining the health and financial security of seniors, taxpayers, and American consumers – who are routinely forced to pay far more for the same drugs as people in other countries,” said Chairman Scott. “The American people have made it clear that they want Congress to take action, and that is what we did today. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act delivers on our promise to lower drug prices.”

According to preliminary analyses conducted by the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the proposal would save $345 billion for Medicare Part D, alone. It would also save $46 billion in health care costs for private employers, and $55 billion for American workers over the next 10 years.

The legislation:

  • Empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices on as many as possible of the 250 most costly drugs every year.
  • Ensures that lower drug prices negotiated by the Secretary would be available to those with private insurance. This is particularly important for the more than 150 million Americans who are covered by employer-sponsored insurance.
  • Stops drug companies from ripping off Americans by charging other countries less for the exact same drugs. H.R. 3 limits the maximum price manufacturers can charge for a negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like the United States.
  • Reverses and prevents unjustified price hikes by implementing an inflation rebate for Part B and D drugs. H.R. 3 will require drug manufacturers to provide a rebate to the American people for price increases for Part B and D drugs that exceed inflation, including increases that have occurred since 2016.
  • Caps out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors by establishing a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D plans.
  • Reinvests savings in improving health care for the American people. The savings achieved by H.R. 3 will be used to improve Medicare and will be reinvested in innovation and the search for new cures through NIH research.  


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