from email from Senator Bob Casey, 12/24/21:
The rising cost of prescription drugs has taken a toll on citizens all across the country, including in Pennsylvania. I understand that many people with Medicare are concerned about the cost of their prescription drugs. No Pennsylvanian should be forced to choose between their life-sustaining medications, putting food on the table or otherwise paying their bills. Fixing this problem is a priority for Pennsylvanians, as it is for me in the U.S. Senate.
There are a number of bills in the Senate that address prescription drug affordability for people with Medicare. Several pieces of legislation would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part D. Under current law, CMS is unable to negotiate prescription drug prices.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, I voted to support S. 2543, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, during the 116th Congress. S. 2543 would have implemented an annual out-of-pocket cap on prescription drug costs for people with Medicare Part D. During committee consideration of this legislation, I voted for an amendment offered by Senator Stabenow of Michigan to give the federal government the authority to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs covered by Medicare. I was disappointed that this amendment failed in committee, but I will continue to work with my colleagues to enact this policy.
I am also a proud cosponsor of the Medicare at 50 Act, S. 1279, which Senator Stabenow of Michigan introduced on April 21, 2021. S. 1279 would allow Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 to buy into Medicare and Medicare Advantage. This would afford these individuals a new option for health insurance coverage and the same hospital, medical and prescription drug benefits afforded to Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65. The bill would also allow Medicare to leverage its purchasing power and negotiate for prescription drugs. Please be assured that I will continue to support and fight for this legislation throughout the duration of the 117th Congress.