|NEW JERSEY — Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and advocates joined Protect Our Care New Jersey for a virtual press conference to draw attention to the need for Congress to pass meaningful prescription drug reform, particularly because of the disastrous impact that high drug prices have on New Jerseyans over the age of 65 and living with a fixed income.
In April 2021, House Democrats re-introduced the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), bold legislation to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug costs — the single most effective measure to bring down drug prices. Not only does giving Medicare the power to negotiate help seniors at the pharmacy counter, but it would save the federal government nearly $500 billion, which could be reinvested to strengthen health care for New Jersey’s seniors and older adults.
“No one should be forced to decide between taking life saving medication and paying their rent each month,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “Unfortunately, that happens all too often for seniors in our community, and it’s something I hear about almost every day in New Jersey. By passing H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, we can lower prices by simply giving Medicare the power to negotiate; if it works for the VA, it can work for all of our seniors. I’m proud to fight for this in Congress and for the millions of Americans struggling to pay for their prescription drugs.”
“As many as one in four seniors today are struggling to afford their prescription drugs,” said Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Those rates are higher among more vulnerable populations, including low-income seniors, people of color and those in poor health. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time for our elected officials to take action and pass meaningful prescription drug reform.”
“I have type 2 diabetes and take an injectable insulin every day to manage my disease, as well as an inhaler for my asthma,” said Elizabeth Gallagher, 72, from South Jersey. “To be able to afford the medications I need to live, I have tried everything from utilizing medication samples, dipping into my hard-earned savings, and relying upon patient assistance programs which are unreliable, involve endless paperwork, and difficult to access. It shouldn’t be this difficult. Other countries help their seniors by negotiating fair drug prices. As the richest country in the world, the United States should be able to make our prescription drugs affordable. It’s time for Congress to stand up for New Jersey seniors like me by passing legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of all Americans.”
You can watch the press conference here, and learn more about how the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) will make prescription drugs more affordable here.