Delgado Cosponsors Bills to Empower Medicare to Negotiate Prescription Drug Costs

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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) went to the floor of the House of Representatives to highlight the need for Congress to take decisive action to bring down the price of prescription drugs. Delgado is a cosponsor of two bills that put consumers first – not drug companies – by empowering the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate the price of prescription drugs bought through Medicare. 

Watch Delgado’s speech here.

“Too many of my constituents, and too many Americans across this country, can’t afford the health coverage they need. There is no bigger driver of this problem than the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs,” Delgado said. “How is it that 1 in 5 American adults cannot afford the medicine they need? 1 in 5.”

Delgado continued, “In the wealthiest country in the world it’s inexcusable that we have seniors who have to choose between their prescriptions and buying groceries, cancer patients who can’t afford their drugs, and diabetics who need to ration the insulin they need to survive.” 

Delgado is a cosponsor of H.R. 448, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which empowers HHS to negotiate directly with drug companies on the prices of Medicare Part D, the drug coverage portion of Medicare. The bill creates a formulary to enhance competition and establishes a fallback price if negotiations are unsuccessful. Delgado is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, which also empowers HHS to negotiate directly with drug companies on the prices of Medicare Part D prescriptions. Under this proposal, if a reasonable price is not agreed upon, HHS can issue a license to a competitor for the development of a generic alternative. 

Transcript of Delgado’s remarks on the House of Representatives floor: 

Today I rise in support of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, a bill that I am proud to cosponsor. This bill is a critical step in expanding access to quality affordable health care by bringing down prescription drug costs.

Too many of my constituents, and too many Americans across this country, can’t afford the health coverage they need. There is no bigger driver of this problem than the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The United States pays the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world and over the past decade, the prices of 90% of brand name drugs have more than doubled. 

How is it that 1 in 5 American adults cannot afford the medicine they need? 1 in 5. In the wealthiest country in the world it’s inexcusable that we have seniors who have to choose between their prescriptions and buying groceries, cancer patients who can’t afford their drugs, and diabetics who need to ration the insulin they need to survive. 

The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act couldn’t be more common sense – it allows the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate Medicare drug prices, putting consumers first, not the drug industry. 

My constituents sent me here with a clear mandate to fight for quality affordable health care, and this bill is a crucial part of that work. 

And with that, I yield back.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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