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Letter to the Editor: Republican Bill Would Eliminate Efforts to Reduce Drug Costs

In August, Congress passed the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act. That bill allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s history and places a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on annual drug costs for seniors on Medicare.

On Sept. 27, Republican Senators Lee, Lummis, Lankford and Rubio introduced the Senate Bill S. 4953, the Protecting Drug Innovation Act, which would roll back the drug-pricing reforms initiated in the Inflation Reduction Act.

In justifying the new proposed bill – which would effectively eliminate the recently passed controls on drug costs – Republican sponsor Sen. Lankford from Oklahoma stated, “Prescription drug prices are too high for many critical drugs, which demonstrates the need for more competition and more options for consumers.”

Tell me: Where is the logic in that statement? Examine his comment, and you see that he’s proposing essentially no change from the current system. The Republican bill is simply a political maneuver to court the financial support of the pharmaceutical industry while it threatens to undermine congressional efforts to improve the lives of Americans.

Do you think that the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices is a good idea? I do.

Whom do you want representing your interests in Washington?

Mitch Leavitt

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin