“The Build Back Better Act will ensure that no Medicare beneficiary pays more than $2000 a year for prescription drugs.” said Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, who called the legislation “the most meaningful drug pricing reform in American history.”
The popular items in the bill are now being debated in the US Senate, but it is unknown whether conservative lawmakers will allow it to proceed due to concerns about spending that do not seem to rise when Congress considers unnecessary military expenditures or if a Republican rules in the White House.
“The government will finally have the power to negotiate lower prices on key medications, including insulin,” said Lawson, who added that “pharmaceutical companies will no longer be allowed to raise their prices faster than the rate of inflation.”
The Build Back Better Act, President Joe Biden’s top legislative initiative, also contains funding for home and community-based long-term care services that will allow more seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes instead of nursing homes — a starting point towards transforming our nation’s long-term care system to focus on providing care instead of generating profits.
In the form of the bill that was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Build Back Better Act seeks expand Medicare to cover hearing aids and other hearing care.
“Two-thirds of seniors over age 70 suffer from hearing loss,” said Lawson. “When Build Back Better’s Medicare expansion goes into effect, many of them will hear their grandchildren’s voices clearly for the first time.”
“This legislation is historic, and it is only the beginning. The White House must build on Build Back Better’s drug pricing provisions with executive action,” said Lawson. “We must continue moving towards Medicare for All by lowering the Medicare eligibility age and adding vision and dental coverage. And Congress must protect and expand Social Security so that no one retires into poverty.”
“Now, it’s time for the Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act into law,” said Lawson. “Then, Democrats should spend the next year reminding seniors — the most reliable voters in midterm elections — of what happened (when) Nearly every House Democrat voted to lower drug prices, expand Medicare, and fund home care, while every single House Republican voted no.”