PISCATAWAY, NJ – Reducing the costs of prescription medications and other types of drug treatments for America’s aging population were at the forefront of Congressman Frank Pallone’s (NJ-6) update on Monday as he praised the House’s recent passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
“Under H.R. 3, seniors will have access to vision, hearing and dental coverage through Medicare for the first time,” said Pallone at the Piscataway Senior Center before local elected officials and a group of senior citizens.
While retirees and others on a fixed income are often thought of first, the tenets of the act extend to making prescriptions and medical care more affordable for Americans of all ages.
“Too many New Jerseyans are forced to choose between putting food on the table for their family and taking a lifesaving drug,” said Pallone who was joined by members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation including Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) and Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-07).
“The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the history of the program and makes those prices available to all Americans with insurance,” he said adding that it also caps out-of-pocket costs for seniors at $2,000 per year.
“The American people are fed up with paying three, four or ten times more than people in other countries for the exact same drug,” said Pallone. “I’m proud that the House took decisive action to finally level the playing field and provide real relief.”
Under the act, he said the federal government will save $500 billion over ten years allowing for improvements to Medicare and provide funding for critical research to find new cures and treatments and funding to combat the opioid crisis.
“This bill would vastly improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans,” said Payne. “In addition, it includes my bill to allow Medicare to cover the cost when cancerous polyps are removed during routine cancer screenings and eliminates the threat of a surprise charge that could cost thousands of dollars.”
“I applaud Representative Pallone for his outstanding work in moving critical health care legislation forward,” said Piscataway Mayor Brian Wahler. “H.R. 3 is the keystone bill that if enacted will make a significant change for the better in the lives of present and future Medicare recipients.”
The bill next goes before the Senate for their consideration.
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