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Houses Passes Kildee Bipartisan Bill to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

December 12, 2019
Press Release

Millions of Michigan Families, Seniors Cannot Currently Afford Lifesaving Medications

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would help to lower the costs of prescription drugs for Michigan families and seniors by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices. Congressman Kildee was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3, which was supported today by Republicans and Democrats.

The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act would end the ban on Medicare negotiating directly with drug companies, forcing drug companies to reduce the price of prescription drugs that are sometimes up to ten times the price in the United States compared to other countries. By allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, lower drug prices would be available to most Americans, including those with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.

“Michigan families and seniors are paying too much for prescription drugs,” Congressman Kildee said. “Right now, the United States pays by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. My legislation would force drug companies to come to the table to negotiate drug prices to help drive down costs. In the richest country in the world, Americans shouldn’t be forced to choose between putting a roof over their head, paying for food, or buying prescriptions they need.”

The passage of H.R. 3 today in the House is the latest action by the Democratic majority to make Congress work for the people. The House has sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) more than 275 bipartisan bills that the Senate so far has refused to take up, including:

  • H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to expand voting rights for Americans, reduce the dominance of big money in politics, and ensure that public officials work for the people, not special interests. 
  • H.R. 8, Bipartisan Background Checks Act, long-overdue gun violence prevention legislation that requires background checks for gun sales and transfers to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and bad actors. 
  • H.R. 7, the Pay Check Fairness Act, which strengthens and closes loopholes in existing law, including the 1963 Equal Pay Act, to help ensure that women and men get paid the same if they are doing the same work.
  • H.J. Res 46, a privileged resolution to terminate President Trump’s national emergency declaration to illegally fund his border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • H.R. 1585, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which seeks to end instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking by improving law enforcement response to violence and funding local programs to support victims.
  • H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, which restores net neutrality protections, ensuring that the internet is open to all Americans and free from interference.
  • H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which requires the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord, a global effort to combat climate change and its impacts.
  • H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, which helps to protect families from predatory junk insurance plans that do not offer comprehensive health care coverage, including coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, which would help to rein in the soaring costs of health care and prescription drugs.
  • H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which would ensure that all Americans—including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans—would be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, federally funded programs, and jury service.
  • H.R. 1994, the SECURE Act, which makes it easier for workers to save for retirement and invests in apprenticeship programs that help people get the training and skills they need for high-wage jobs.
  • H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which provides a path to lawful permanent resident status, and eventual citizenship, for DREAMers and those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
  • H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act, which strengthens America’s election infrastructure and protects voters from potential hacking and manipulation of votes.
  • H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the paychecks of all American workers by gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
  • H.R. 397, the Butch Lewis Act, which would protect the hard-earned retirement benefits of workers by boosting financially-troubled multiemployer pension plans, including the Central State Pension Fund that largely covers Michigan workers.
  • H.R. 4863, the United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019, which would help to grow Michigan’s economy and create local jobs by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), which supports 137 small businesses in Michigan that export $3 billion in products overseas.
  • H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would combat voter suppression and restores the full strength of the Voting Rights Act.