Langevin Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

WASHINGTON -- Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today voted in favor of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 230-192, aims to provide relief to Americans struggling with high prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to achieve price reductions. The bill would also establish a new out-of-pocket expense limit for people on Medicare and enables taxpayer savings that will be reinvested into expanding Medicare benefits to include vision, dental, and hearing, addressing addiction, and researching new cures and treatments.

“Every American should be able to afford the prescription medication they need. It is shameful that people risk their health and wellbeing every day because high prices push them to ration medication or go without it. Even more, it is outrageous that Americans are paying higher prices than people of comparable developed countries. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will finally allow the government to negotiate drug prices on behalf of millions of Americans, and I was proud to support it.

“In Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, over 460,000 people stand to benefit from the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. This includes people in dire need like patients diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other very serious conditions. A price tag should not keep lifelines out of reach for my constituents, but with many cancer medications costing over $100,000 annually and skyrocketing insulin prices, we know that patients continue to face impossible choices.

“Rhode Island seniors will see much needed relief from the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. By capping out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries, people on fixed incomes will no longer have uncertainty looming over them. H.R. 3 also achieves one of my long-stated goals to ensure Medicare includes, vision, dental, and hearing benefits that are often particularly needed by older Americans.

“This bill is a bold step to make sure millions of Americans do not have to question whether or not they can afford treatment. It is sound policy that makes needed changes to slash prescription costs, realize savings and expand access to quality medical care.”