WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Lowering the price of lifesaving drugs is top of mind for many in Congress. The issue is the focus of several different pieces of legislation.
Lawmakers say many Americans are struggling to afford the medication they need. Debra Tyler-Horton with Georgia’s AARP is advocating for legislation that will help seniors with the rising costs.
“Seniors are sick and tired of being pharma’s piggybank and funding their high profits,” Tyler-Horton said.
It’s a problem lawmakers want to solve. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., is introducing a bill to cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare.
“It is unconscionable that our country would allow our seniors to go without the medication they need to live healthy lives, because of high costs,” Warnock said.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., is co-sponsoring Sen, Warnock’s other bill to cap the price of insulin at $35. Both also support a measure to allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.
“I’m going to continue working to get the job done on this much-needed reform,” Baldwin said. “Because not only does it save patients money, it saves taxpayers money.”
Democrats are hopeful this is an issue that can get traction with Republicans too. They’re ready to negotiate.
“If somebody has got an idea, I’ve got an idea, we put those ideas together,” Warnock said.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., believes this can be a bipartisan push.
“Capping prices may not be where the consensus is but something that leads to lower prices – much, much lower prices – is, I think, on everybody’s radar screens,” Capito said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to bring the insulin legislation to the Senate floor in the next few weeks.
“There should be nothing remotely partisan about making sure Americans don’t go broke to manage their diabetes,” Schumer said.