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With Yarmuth's Support, House Passes Comprehensive Package to Lower Prescription Drug Prices, Expand Medicare Services for Seniors

WASHINGTON– Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation cosponsored by Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3) to strengthen the health and financial security of America’s seniors and families by finally stopping Americans from having to pay more for their medicines than what Big Pharma charges for the same drugs in other countries.

The legislation would give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies. These transparent and lower prices will set a standard for private insurance companies to use when negotiating reduced rates for their beneficiaries. It would also create a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

“As prescription drug prices continue to soar, an increasing number of American families—including many Louisvillians—are being forced to choose between paying for medications they rely on and paying for other essential things like their mortgage, rent, or putting food on their tables,” said Yarmuth. “This life-saving legislation will drive down prescription drug prices, expand Medicare services for seniors, and help spark innovation to find the cures and treatments of tomorrow. I was proud to cosponsor and vote in support of this legislation, and I urge Majority Leader McConnell to bring it to the Senate floor without delay. The lives of countless Kentuckians depend on it.”

In Kentucky’s Third Congressional District, there are 108,224 people enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 502,793 people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from H.R. 3. For example, those living with cancer, arthritis, asthma, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis are expected to experience significant savings as a result of H.R. 3:

Patients living with breast cancer: In 2019, an estimated 3,670 women in Kentucky will be diagnosed with breast cancer. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the breast cancer medication Ibrance by 65% from $69,000 to $23,900 per year.

Patients living with leukemia: In 2019, an estimated 940 people in Kentucky will be diagnosed with leukemia. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the leukemia medication Tasigna by 71% from $93,700 to $27,400.

Patients living with prostate cancer: In 2019, an estimated 2,190 people in Kentucky will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the prostate cancer medication Zytiga by 66% from $109,500 to $37,400 per year.

Patients with arthritis: 29.3% of Kentucky residents have arthritis, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.

Patients with asthma: About 10.7% of Kentucky residents, or 367,763, live with asthma, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.

Patients with HIV/AIDS: In 2015, 349 Kentucky residents were diagnosed with HIV, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.

Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS): One million people are living with MS in the United States, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most MS drugs from about $40,000 to $13,000 per year.

In addition to lowering prescription drug prices, H.R. 3 also reinvests savings into expanding Medicare coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services for constituents in Kentucky’s Third Congressional District:

Approximately 100% of beneficiaries or 140,300 people stand to gain from adding a dental benefit.

Approximately 82% of beneficiaries or 115,500 people stand to gain from adding a vision benefit.

Approximately 80% of beneficiaries or 112,200 people stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit.

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