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Dingell Votes in Favor of Legislation to Drastically Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) voted in favor of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drugs Costs Now Act. This landmark legislation will give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and Michiganders with private insurance. 

“Too many hardworking men and women face the terrifying high costs for prescription drugs and seniors don’t have coverage for dental, vision, or hearing services,” said Dingell. “The House is delivering on the first step to lower prescription drug prices for the people. Since coming to Congress, I have led the fight to get Medicare to cover hearing aids and service. The eyes, ears, and teeth are just as much a part of healthcare. This bill invests savings from prescription drugs right back into expanding Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing.”

Making hearing aids more affordable has been a priority for Dingell since coming to Congress. The first bill she ever introduced was the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act to cover hearing aids for beneficiaries. Similar legislation passed the Energy and Commerce Committee this fall.

Right now, drug prices in the US are nearly four times higher than the combined average of 11 other similar countries, and Americans pay as much as 67 times more than consumers in other nations for prescription drugs.

Through allowing Medicare to directly negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, H.R. 3 will save patients and seniors $120 billion, and reinvest have a trillion dollars in expanding Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision, and hearing services, programs to address the opioid crisis, and research for new cures and treatments.

In Michigan

  • Diabetes – About 9.8% of Michigan – 864,882 people - are living with diabetes. For the most commonly used insulin medications, Michigan residents spend anywhere from $1,200 to $20,000 annually.

Under H.R. 3, Michigan residents could spend 3.5 times less on insulin. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the insulin NovoLOG Flexpen by 76% from about $19,800 to $4,800 per year. Under H.R. 3, some commonly used insulins can cost as little as $400 per year.

  • Arthritis - 27% of Michigan residents have arthritis, 30.5% of whom experience severe joint pain because of it. H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.
  • Asthma – About 10.8% or 310,955 Michigan residents live with asthma. H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.
  • HIV/AIDS –  In 2015, 777 Michigan  residents were diagnosed with HIV. H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.


The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would:

  • Give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies to bring down prices and create powerful new tools to force drug companies to the table to agree to real price reductions.
  • Make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance too, not just those on Medicare.
  • Stop drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs by limiting the maximum price for any negotiated drug.
  • Create a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for people on Medicare.
  • Save taxpayers approximately $500 billion over the next ten years and reinvest that savings into:
    • Expanding Medicare benefits to cover things like dental, vision and hearing,
    • Combatting the addiction crisis, and
    • Researching new cures and treatments.


Independent experts found the Lower Drug Costs Now Act would:

  • Save American households $120 billion.
  • Save private businesses more than $40 billion.
  • Save taxpayers approximately $500 billion and reinvests that savings to expand benefits.

Additional Background on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act can be found HERE.


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