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ICYMI: 75+ Patient Organizations Voice Support for Inflation Reduction Act In Letter to Congress

August 05, 2022

Today, "more than 75 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, unions, small businesses, employers, physicians, nurses, and disease advocacy and human rights organizations," wrote a letter to Congress "urging the Senate to immediately pass the Inflation Reduction Act."

In this letter, these organizations point out that "rising prices are a top concern for American families and employers. Undeterred by the financial hardship and health challenges facing Americans today as a result of the pandemic, drug companies have already raised the prices of their products almost 1,200 times in the first seven months of the year — more than in the same period in 2020 and 2021." To address this concern, among others, the Inflation Reduction Act would require Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical corporations for lower drug prices, discourage drug companies from increasing their prices faster than the rate of inflation, and cap annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Members of Congress,

Congress can make history in the next week by passing the most expansive and powerful reforms to help Americans afford prescription drugs since enactment of the Medicare Part D benefit in 2003. On behalf of more than 75 organizations representing patients, consumers, seniors, unions, small businesses, employers, physicians, nurses, and disease advocacy and human rights organizations, we urge the Senate to immediately pass the Inflation Reduction Act.

The legislation is truly historic because for the first time ever it will:

  • Require Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical corporations for lower drug prices — a reform that has been sought for almost 20 years;
  • Discourage drug companies from increasing their prices faster than the rate of inflation, a reform that has special importance right now as we seek to curb the rising cost of everyday expenses;
  • Cap annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 when they are currently unlimited and can run to more than $15,000 and expand the Part D low-income subsidies by expanding the income threshold for eligibility from 135 percent to 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

In a time of great division in our nation this legislation has overwhelmingly bipartisan support. More than 70 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents back each of these reforms, which have consistently been the most popular element under discussion for reconciliation.

Congress can pass these drug pricing reforms before the August recess and move the nation in anew direction, providing savings to patients, taxpayers, workers, and employers. CBO estimates savings of almost $300 billion to the Federal government alone.

Rising prices are a top concern for American families and employers. Undeterred by the financial hardship and health challenges facing Americans today as a result of the pandemic, drug companies have already raised the prices of their products almost 1,200 times in the first seven months of the year — more than in the same period in 2020 and 2021.

Congress must seize this opportunity to stop the pharmaceutical industry from overcharging Americans with astronomical prices for brand-name drugs. Patients, workers, employers, and taxpayers should not continue to shoulder the burden of prices in this country that are nearly three times what people in other comparable nations pay.

Congress can make history in the next week. Pass the Inflation Reduction Act and send it to the President for his signature. Not only will it break the pharmaceutical industry's unilateral power to dictate prices to the American people, it will save lives, improve health, curb the impact of inflation, and put more money back into the pockets of American seniors, workers, and businesses.

Congress has repeatedly promised to address this problem, and the American people need the help now more than ever.

Signed:

AARP
AFGE Local 704
AHEC West (Maryland Area Health Education Center West)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Alliance for Retired Americans
Alliance of Community Health Plans
American Academy of Neurology
American Federation of Teachers
Black Health Commission
Blue Shield of California
Building Back Together
Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy
Centennial State Prosperity
Center for American Progress
Center for Popular Democracy
Children's Action Alliance
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Committee to Protect Health Care
Communications Workers of America
Community Catalyst
Consumer Action
COVID Survivors for Change
Crohn's and Colitis Young Adults Network
Democratic Disability Caucus of Florida
Doctors for America
Families USA
For Our Future Action Fund
Generation Patient
Health Access CA
Health Care For All Massachusetts
Health Care
Voices
Heath Action New Mexico
Hispanic Federation
Honest Arizona
Human Rights
Watch
Invest in America Action
Kentucky
Voices for Health
KS Business Group on Health
Latino
Victory
Lower Drug Prices Now
Main Street Alliance
Maryland Health Care For All Coalition
Medicare for All Coalition
Medicare Rights Center
Metro New
York Health Care for All
Missouri Health Care for All
MomsRising
MoveOn Civic Action
National Health Law Program
National MS Society
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Jersey Citizen Action
Nurses for America
Oregonizers
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now
Pennsylvania Health Access Network
People's Action
Prescription Justice
Protect Our Care
Public Citizen
R2H Action [Right to Health]
Salud y Farmacos
SEIU
Social Security
Works
SWAA CT Coordinating committee
T1International USA TakeActionMN Tennessee Health Care Campaign
The AIDS
Taskforce of Greater Cleveland
The 99% Pennsylvania campaign of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
The Consortium
United States of Care
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Unrig Our Economy
Voices for Progress
West Health Institute
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: 75+ Patient Organizations Voice Support for Inflation Reduction Act In Letter to Congress Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357169

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