To the editor:
On behalf of our 230,000 members, AARP Maine thanks Congressman Jared Golden for participating in our recent tele-town hall on prescription drug costs. Nearly 3,500 Mainers participated in the forum and many asked questions of Congressman Golden live during the call.
Much of the discussion focused on the latest news from Washington, including two bills which will likely be voted on soon.
Currently under consideration in the House of Representatives is HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. Under HR 3, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would negotiate prices for at least 25 of the most expensive brand-name medicines. The bill would also cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 per year. In addition AARP is pushing for other improvements to Medicare such as coverage for dental, vision and hearing care.
In the Senate, we urge Senate leadership to bring the bipartisan Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 to a floor vote this year. The bill would cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and require drug manufacturers to provide a rebate to Medicare if the prices of their products increase faster than inflation.
AARP Maine is committed to working with our federal lawmakers to lower prescription drug costs. Too many Mainers of all ages struggle to afford the medications they need to stay healthy, and to even stay alive. It shouldn’t be that way. We cannot wait any longer for this to change, and urge our elected leaders to pass these bills.
AARP Maine Volunteer State President, Portland