The Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed by the Senate yesterday, includes provisions based on Klobuchar’s bill to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices
MINNEAPOLIS - At a press conference with Minnesota health care advocates, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) highlighted the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation to lower the costs of prescription drugs, as well as tackle the climate crisis and reduce the deficit. This legislation, which passed the Senate yesterday, includes provisions based on a bill Klobuchar has led for years to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
Klobuchar was joined by AARP Minnesota State Director Cathy McLeer; University of Minnesota Professor of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer, PharmD, PhD; and AARP MN member Ken McInnis.
“I introduced one of the first bills lifting the ban on negotiating prescription drugs for Medicare. And it's been over a decade trying to get it done…We were finally able to pass it yesterday afternoon,” said Klobuchar. “What are we doing in this bill? After decades of a ban on negotiation, Medicare is going to be able to negotiate for lower prices…This was a hard fought victory. It's hard to put into words what a big deal it is.”
Specifically, the Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost of prescription drugs and strengthen access to health care by:
- Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for the first time;
- Capping the amount seniors with Medicare Part D can pay for prescription drugs at $2,000 a year starting in 2025;
- Ensuring Medicare Part D beneficiaries spend no more than $35 a month out-of-pocket on insulin;
- Cracking down on price gouging practices by pharmaceutical companies by limiting price hikes on medicine; and
- Extending enhanced Affordable Care Act health insurance premium tax credits for three years, which will especially benefit Americans over the age of 55.
Klobuchar has long been a leader in the fight to lower prescription drug and medication prices. Last month, she and Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) urged the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to examine parallel price increases of widely-used blood-thinning medications, Xarelto and Eliquis. In June, Klobuchar delivered a floor speech highlighting how extending ACA tax credits and allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices would increase access to health care and lower health care costs.
In March, Klobuchar led a group of bicameral colleagues in calling out drug manufacturers for rapid and widespread price hikes on prescription drugs.
In March 2021, Klobuchar and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) led a bicameral group of colleagues in introducing legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate the best price of prescription drugs for seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D.