July 17, 2019

New Democrat Coalition Urges Democratic Leadership to Move Bipartisan Drug Pricing Bills

Washington, DC – Today, New Democrat Coalition Healthcare Task Force Members, led by co-chairs Reps. Angie Craig, Kurt Schrader, Kim Schrier, and Greg Stanton, sent a letter to House Democratic Leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, and Assistant Leader Ben Ray Luján, urging the House to move bipartisan drug pricing bills forward.

Specifically, the Task Force Members request House Democratic Leadership to consider bringing the bipartisan drug pricing bills included in H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, to the floor in a standalone package for a vote during the week of July 22nd when other healthcare measures are expected to be considered.

“The rising cost of prescription drugs remains of paramount concern to all Members, irrespective of political affiliation. There are families in every single congressional district struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. As such, this challenge calls for a unified approach. Respectfully, we urge leadership to bring these bipartisan measures to the floor and, in doing so, reiterate our commitment to tackling the rising cost of prescription drugs in a bipartisan manner before the August recess,” the letter reads.

Earlier this Congress, the House passed the New Democrat Coalition-supported H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. This package included several individual New Dem-introduced and endorsed bills, including the bills referenced in yesterday’s letter that would lower prescription drug pricing, including H.R. 965, the CREATES Act (Rep. Cicilline), H.R. 938, the BLOCKING Act (Rep. Schrader), and H.R. 1499, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act (Rep. Rush). New Dems also urged House leaders to prioritize strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continue the path toward affordable universal coverage. New Dems have been heartened by Democratic Leadership’s steps to undo the sabotage done to the ACA, and look forward to building on this work through the legislative progress of our Members.

Read the full letter below or here.

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July 16, 2019

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Whip Clyburn, and Assistant Speaker Luján: 

As Members of the New Democrat Coalition Healthcare Task Force, we were pleased to have the opportunity to vote on vital healthcare legislation within the first 100 days of the 116th Congress.

While we support efforts to advance legislation to stabilize and expand on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are all too aware of the strong desire from our constituents for us to also take action on the rising costs of prescription drugs. We are asking that you consider bringing the bipartisan drug pricing bills included in H.R. 987 to the floor in a standalone package for a vote during the week of July 22nd when other healthcare measures are to be considered.

Each of the drug pricing bills in H.R. 987 had bipartisan support when introduced, as well as through the Committee process. While we were optimistic our Republican colleagues would support commonsense fixes to strengthen the ACA, this comprehensive package was passed out of the House with only Democratic support. Consequently, our colleagues in the Senate have yet to vote on these noncontroversial drug pricing measures and send them to the President for enactment.

The rising cost of prescription drugs remains of paramount concern to all Members, irrespective of political affiliation. There are families in every single congressional district struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. As such, this challenge calls for a unified approach. Respectfully, we urge leadership to bring these bipartisan measures to the floor and, in doing so, reiterate our commitment to tackling the rising cost of prescription drugs in a bipartisan manner before the August recess.

Sincerely,

NDC Chair Derek Kilmer 

NDC Vice Chair Suzan DelBene 

NDC Vice Chair Scott Peters 

NDC Vice Chair Terri Sewell

NDC Leadership Member Ami Bera 

NDC Freshman Leadership Representative Chrissy Houlahan 

NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Angie Craig 

NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Kurt Schrader

NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Kim Schrier 

NDC Health Care Task Force Co-Chair Greg Stanton

NDC Health Care Task Force Member Lizzie Fletcher 

NDC Health Care Task Force Member Donna Shalala  

 



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