A new bill has been introduced to allow the government to negotiate with drug companies to bring down the price of prescription drugs. This would make a huge difference in the costs Medicare beneficiaries pay. Prescription drugs are one of the main reasons healthcare costs keep rising, and without negotiating power there seems to be no end in sight.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota led the bill, titled the “Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act of 2017.” If put into effect, this bill could cut costs drastically for the nearly 41 million people age 65 and older who are enrolled in Medicare Part D.
“The uncontrolled explosion in pharmaceutical drug pricing is crippling patients and our national economy. This simple measure is a first step toward comprehensive action required to correct this crisis,” Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said.
Under current law, pharmaceutical companies are allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices, but Medicare is not.
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut added, “The drug industry is very powerful in Washington, but their vice grip on healthcare policy has to end.”
Other cosponsors of the legislation include: Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
To view the bill in its entirety, click here.