By his example, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley helps counter the disillusionment so many Americans express about Congress. The Iowa Republican is an important GOP leader, but he works harmoniously with many other senators — both Democrats and Republicans.
A good example of constructive bipartisanship is the letter he and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, just sent to President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Seema Verma.
Grassley and Klobuchar are jointly sponsoring the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act. Their letter calls upon these officials to support for this legislation.
The bill is designed to increase competition in the drug industry and thereby help bring down the cost of prescription drugs. It is intended to limit certain anticompetitive practices by drug companies that slow down the introduction of affordable generic prescription drugs.
“We have long been concerned with the rising cost of prescription drugs and the strain it places on patients and our health care system, including critical government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Noncompetitive drug markets can result in higher prices and reduced patient access to essential medical treatments,” the senators wrote. “By promoting the timely introduction of affordable generic drugs, our Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act would increase prescription drug competition in U.S. markets, driving down prices and improving the quality of life for patients across the country.”
Expensive prescription drugs contribute significantly to the high cost of health care in our nation. Congress needs to find ways to make health care less expensive. That Grassley and Klobuchar have joined forces in a bipartisan effort to seek a partial solution is an encouraging step in the right direction.
Their collaboration reminds us that good government often requires cooperation and compromises. Unfortunately, too few officeholders seem committed to exploring opportunities for bipartisan agreements.
Iowans and Minnesotans should be proud that they have sent to Washington two senators who work across the partisan divide to find common ground. Grassley is a conservative Republican. Klobuchar is a liberal Democrat. Officeholders at all levels of government should be inspired by their willingness to work together to craft and advance this bill. It shows that even when people disagree on many things it is frequently possible to find areas where joint action is possible.
The Independent applauds this demonstration of productive bipartisanship.