***VIDEO FILE INCLUDED*** Rep. Susie Lee Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Costs, Protect Nevadans on Medicare
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) voted to pass the Elijah E, Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), sweeping legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs for all Americans.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under H.R. 3, American families will save $158 billion in lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, that’s $1,920 for every American family of four. American taxpayers will save more than $500 billion.
Before passage, Rep. Lee spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 3, including her bill added as a provision in the underlying 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.
The following is a transcript of Rep. Lee’s remarks:
I’m here to speak in support of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
And in particular, I want to speak in support of my bill, which is included in the Act, the Enhancing Retirement Security for Medicare Beneficiaries Act.
My bill would guarantee that the disbursements of retirement savings aren’t counted when determining if someone qualifies for Medicare Part D’s Low Income Subsidy program.
As a young girl, I learned the importance of saving money.
My first job was running a paper route in my neighborhood in Canton, Ohio at the age of 8.
At the end of every week I’d set a quarter or two aside to save up for a candy bar.
It wasn’t much, but it taught me something important: that saving money is worth it.
Americans shouldn’t be punished for saving for their retirement. But when retirement savings is counted toward your eligibility for prescription drug assistance, we are punishing our seniors for working hard and saving money.
The fact is that no group of Nevadans relies more on prescription drugs than our seniors.
Rising cost-of-living is hard enough on older Americans.
We should be making it easier for them to retire with dignity, and that means not forcing them to choose between buying groceries and life-saving medication.
I’m pleased that my bill was included in the underlying text of H.R. 3.
It’s time that we lower prescription drug costs not just for seniors on Medicare, but for all Americans.
BACKGROUND: H.R. 3 empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate better prescription drug prices for people with job-based health coverage, not just those in Medicare. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and independent actuaries found that premiums and out-of-pocket costs will decrease.
American workers are paying too much for the prescriptions they need. Many of the drugs that represent the highest spending in employer-provided health plans are far cheaper in other countries. Under H.R. 3, the HHS Secretary would be allowed to negotiate for lower prices on behalf of American workers and their families.