ICYMI: Democratic Lawmakers in Columbus and D.C. Keep Fighting for Lower Drug Costs

In case you missed it… Even as Donald Trump has broken his promise to “get those prescription drug prices way down,” Democratic legislators in Congress and at the Ohio Statehouse are pushing forward with proposals to lower drug costs for Ohioans.

This week Ohio Capital Journal highlighted legislation by state Rep. Beth Liston and state Rep. Kristin Boggs that would cap the cost of insulin at $100 a month for patients, and the Huffington Post focused on the “Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act,” which House Democrats passed in December — and Mitch McConnell’s Senate has refused to consider.

In addition, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty recently introduced the End Price Gouging for Insulin Act to lower the cost of insulin for 7.4 million Americans.

From Ohio Capital Journal:

Democrats in the state House and Senate are pushing legislation that would force insurers to cap patients’ cost-sharing on insulin at $100 for a 30-day supply.

Democratic Reps. Beth Liston and Kristin Boggs offered House Bill 387 as a blunt force legislative strategy to wrangle down costs.

Liston, a physician, said the legislation seeks to help working people with high-deductible and high coinsurance plans who suffer from diabetes.

“These are middle income families that are working, have insurance, but are harmed by this complicated system,” she said.

Last year, Illinois followed Colorado to become the second state to pass such legislation.

Diabetics who can’t access insulin will die. The drug’s price, Liston said, is warped by a long supply chain from manufacturers, to wholesalers, to pharmacy benefit managers, to insurers, not to mention negotiations and rebates along the way.

“There’s a lot of money lost within the system that doesn’t provide any value to people,” she said.

From the Huffington Post:

House Democrats passed a major health care bill last December, one that promises substantial, much-needed relief to Americans struggling with cost of prescription drugs.

Yet somehow, almost no one outside of Washington seems to be paying attention.

The most important provision of the bill would allow the federal government to negotiate directly with manufacturers over drug prices, as authorities in other countries do. That could slash the price of everything from insulin to cutting-edge, breakthrough treatments for cancer for the vast majority of Americans.

Trump has also taken to attacking the “Do Nothing Democrats” on drug prices, which is a strange choice given that the House actually took action by passing its bill, when Trump has repeatedly whiffed on chances to make policy unilaterally or with Congress. At last month’s State of the Union address, House Democrats tried to make that point by standing when Trump mentioned drug pricing and holding three fingers in the air, for H.R. 3. The protest drew little notice.


Ohio Capital Journal: Ohio Democrats look to wrangle down insulin costs

Huffington Post: Democrats Did Something Big On Health Care And Nobody Is Paying Attention

Columbus Dispatch: Beatty wants Congress to cut insulin prices