State of the Union: Rep. Susie Lee Stresses Bipartisanship in Face of Rising Drug Costs

February 4, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) attended the 2020 State of the Union Address with her guest Ms. Mary Richard, a resident of Nevada’s 3rd District experiencing the hardships of skyrocketing prescription drug costs.   

“Mary’s story is heartbreaking because it’s so common not only in southern Nevada but across the country,” Rep. Susie Lee. “She’s doing everything right, including budgeting well and looking out for her health, but it’s still not enough because her prescription drugs are so expensive—even for medication as basic as drops for a chronic infection. We should be making it easier, not harder, for Americans like Mary to live and retire with dignity.  

“With less than a year left in the 116th Congress, we need to get results,” Rep. Lee continued. “The only way we’re going to actually lower drug costs, bring down health care premiums, or improve educational outcomes for Nevada students, is to work together. The stakes are too high and the window of time is too short to be bogged down by partisan bickering or political inaction. So long as I’m representing Nevada’s 3rd District in Congress, I’ll be at the negotiation table, and any member of Congress feeling the same desire to get things done for their district can pull up a chair.” 

“I am a 75-year young senior who lives on a fixed income,” said Ms. Richard. “Dealing with a chronic ear infection is no fun and I need to go to an ear specialist on a regular basis. Some ear drops were prescribed to me (tiny little bottle with a week’s worth of drops). When I picked it up from the pharmacy, I was quoted $100! When I asked for a generic prescription, I was advised this was generic! Needless to say, this is outrageous and a real hardship for me and for other seniors who pay exorbitant prices on prescription drugs.  My neighbors and I have to decide between paying for food or prescriptions.  This is a horrible situation for all us seniors.  Please help us and get these prescription drugs lowered to a reasonable amount that we can afford.”  

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, Rep. Lee helped the House of Representatives pass H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, sweeping legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans. H.R. included Rep. Lee’s bill, the  Enhancing Retirement Security for Medicare Beneficiaries Act, which would guarantee that retirement savings aren’t counted when determining if someone qualifies for Medicare Part D’s Low Income Subsidy (LES) program.     

This provision will benefit many of the 95,581 residents in Nevada’s 3rd District enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan.