Alliance Members Speak Out for Drug Price Negotiation and Expanded Medicare Benefits

On Wednesday, October 6, a group of health care advocates including the Florida Alliance (FLARA), medical professionals, and faith leaders held a virtual event urging Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL), another House Democrat who has opposed drug price negotiation, to support lowering prescription drug prices and expanding Medicare and Medicaid by voting for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

Donesa Jackson, regional vice president of Central Florida for FLARA, cited polling showing strong support for the health care benefits in the White House plan, including expanding Medicare and Medicaid with dental, hearing, and vision benefits, allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and expanding home health care, in addition to other benefits.

“I hope and pray Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy finds it in her to stand up and to do what the majority of Floridians want and need, and what makes sense, and what is right, especially for all of us who pay too much for the medication we need to survive,” added Janice Poirier, also a regional vice president for FLARA, as well as president of Florida Education Association-Retired. Ms. Poirier finds herself in the “doughnut hole” coverage gap, making it difficult for her to afford insulin for her diabetes. Her insulin costs $680 a month, and she can afford it only because her doctor gives her samples.

At a third event the same day, Representatives Colin Allred (TX) and Susan Wild (PA) joined the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition for a virtual constituent event calling on Democratic leaders to include drug pricing reforms that lower prices for everyone in the reconciliation package. Medicare negotiations, out of pocket spending limits, inflation caps and other features of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, are central to advancing the Democrats’ agenda. Texas Alliance member George Nolan shared his story of having to pay high drug costs until he was able to obtain his medications from the Veterans Administration, which negotiates lower costs for prescription drugs.

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