WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the start of the new Congress, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) today introduced legislation to lower prescription drug prices for seniors.
The lawmakers have introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Current law only allows for bargaining by pharmaceutical companies and bans Medicare from doing so. The legislation would help cut costs for nearly 41 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D and boost Medicare savings. Senator Baldwin has supported similar legislation in the previous Congress, introduced by Senator Klobuchar.
“We have a broken system in Washington that prohibits the federal government from negotiating lower prescription drug prices for our senior citizens. This commonsense reform will fix this and help lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors,” said Senator Baldwin. “I have long championed efforts to allow the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to get better prices on lifesaving medicines instead of increasing drug company profits. The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act is a critical proposal that would help safeguard the Medicare program and keep our promises to seniors and taxpayers.The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, eliminating the “non-interference” clause that expressly bans Medicare from negotiating for the best possible prices. The government can harness the bargaining power of nearly 41 million seniors to negotiate bigger discounts than insurance companies.