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Engel, House Dems Pass Bill Aimed at Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

Engel, House Dems Pass Bill Aimed at Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, voted today in favor of H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, legislation that would help lower prescription drug prices and stop the Trump Administration from degrading Americans’ health care.

“This bill is the first significant step made by the new Congress to reduce the cost of prescription drug prices,” said Rep. Engel.

H.R. 987 combines three key bills to lower drug costs by promoting generic competition and four bills to strengthen health care, reverse GOP sabotage, and rescind the Trump Administration’s devastating junk plan rule. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would allow prescription drugs to hit the market earlier—leading to substantial cost savings for the average consumer—and would reduce federal spending on said drugs, lowering the deficit by $442 million over ten years.

“President Trump and his GOP lapdogs have spent the better part of two years trying to take away people’s health care. House Democrats once again offer a novel alternative: instead of trying to hurt people, how about we try to help them,” Engel said. “Too many families are left with the difficult choice of paying for their prescriptions or paying for other necessities. In the richest country in the world, no one should be forced to deal with that heartbreaking dilemma.

“We need to lower costs, and we know the right way to do it isn’t by allowing insurance providers to sell you a stripped down, junk health care plan like the Trump Administration proposes. It’s by passing thoughtful legislation like H.R. 987, which by bringing generic drugs to the market sooner, will over time lower prescription drug prices and create substantial savings for consumers. I am hopeful the Senate GOP will adopt this legislation and put Americans’ well-being first.  

“Moving forward, I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work on commonsense legislation which would repeal the so-called ‘non-interference clause’ in the 2003 Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act. This horrendous policy, which I voted against, prevents Medicare from leveraging its purchasing power to lower the cost of life-saving drugs. Empowering Medicare to do so would bring immediate relief to my constituents.”