Washington, DC – Today, leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) applauded the passage of the improved H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Over many months, the Progressive Caucus worked with Democratic leadership to expand the scope of the bill so millions more families could benefit from this critical legislation. Earlier this week, the Progressive Caucus negotiated critical improvements to H.R. 3 to increase the number of drugs negotiated each year and prevent pharmaceutical price spikes for families with private health insurance plans. The Progressive Caucus had previously secured multiple key improvements to the bill, such as replacing arbitration with direct negotiation and preventing price-gouging in launch prices.
“With this bill, we pass the most comprehensive legislation ever to lower drug prices for millions of people across our country by finally giving the government the authority to directly negotiate on prescription drugs. The Progressive Caucus was able to make significant strides to ensure even more people could benefit from this monumental legislation,” said CPC Co-Chair Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02). “This bill now includes doubling the minimum number of negotiated drugs from twenty-five to fifty in year two and maintains that minimum for every year after. This expansion means that working families will have access to more affordable, life-saving drugs.”
“The drug industry has gone unchecked for far too long, and Americans are hurting because of it. I’m thrilled that the final Lower Drug Costs Now Act includes my critical amendment to limit Big Pharma’s ability to spike drug prices for the over 156 million Americans covered by group health plans or insurance coverage,” said CPC Co-Chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “I’m so proud of the work progressive members, backed by grassroots advocates and organizations, did to ensure the Lower Drug Costs Now Act will live up to its name—and provide real relief to American families. Our effort to strengthen this bill is a huge win for the American people, and it shows what progressives can do when we stick together.”
“This is a historic bill, that will lower drug prices for millions of Americans and make the most significant expansion of Medicare since its creation. I am particularly proud of the changes that we in the Progressive Caucus secured. We fought hard to ensure that this bill includes important provisions authored by our Co-Chairs Representatives Jayapal and Pocan,” said CPC Whip Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-o5). “I believe you get what you organize for. And this is a perfect example of us in the progressive movement having the moral clarity and the courage to demand that we have the best bill possible for the American People. We will continue to fight until we pass Medicare for All, to guarantee healthcare as a basic human right for every American.”