Congressman Andy Levin Votes to Bring Down Prescription Drug Prices with House Passage of H.R.3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act

December 12, 2019
Press Release

Today, Rep. Andy Levin voted to pass H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will help bring down the cost of prescription drugs and level the playing field for American patients who are paying more for their medicines than patients in other countries. This bill gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies, and the lower prices negotiated by Medicare will be transparent so that private insurance companies can make the same prices available to their consumers.

“I stand here before you as a dad — a dad like millions of other American dads and moms who just want to take care of our kids. Mary and I have two sons with Crohn’s disease,” Rep. Levin said at Speaker Pelosi’s press conference today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. “When my son’s doctor prescribed Humira, it was only because we had exceptional coverage that we were able to afford it. No normal American without coverage could afford it. Humira cost about $19,000 a year in 2012, and twice as much, more than $38,000 a year, in 2018.

“I spent nights worrying about what would have happened if we couldn’t afford treatment. So many Americans are in that exact position right now,” Rep. Levin continued. “Will they buy groceries, or will they buy drugs? It’s high time we deliver on this promise.”

Rep. Levin went on to say that health care is the number one issue his constituents in Macomb and Oakland counties bring to him. In Michigan’s Ninth Congressional District, there are 113,037 people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 520,339 people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from H.R.3.

The Lower Drug Costs Now Act finally levels the playing field for American patients and taxpayers:

  • Gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies, and creates powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions, while ensuring seniors never lose access to the prescriptions they need.
  • Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Stops drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs, limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be in line with the average price in countries like ours, where drug companies charge less for the same drugs – and admit they still make a profit.
  • Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and reverses years of unfair price hikes above inflation across thousands of drugs in Medicare.
  • Reinvests in the most transformational improvement to Medicare since its creation – delivering vision, dental and hearing benefits – and turbocharging the search for new cures.

Click here for more information on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.