Cicilline: Democrats Have A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

WASHINGTON – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Co-Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (NY-14) today for a press conference outlining the clear differences between the Democratic “A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs” plan and the massive concessions President Trump plans to give to the pharmaceutical industry.

Video of the full press conference can be viewed here (Cicilline’s remarks begin at 17:26). The full text of Cicilline’s remarks is embedded below.

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David N. Cicilline

A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs

May 16, 2018

Remarks as Delivered

Thank you Madam Leader, thank you Chairman Crowley, it’s an honor to be with both of you.

When Democrats launched a bold economic agenda – A Better Deal, that really focuses on raising family incomes, reducing the costs in people’s lives, and making sure folks are prepared with the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st century – one of the first planks we released was A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs as one of those things that we wanted to reduce the costs on.

Because Democrats believe no person in America should have to lay awake at night trying to decide whether they should get medicine to keep them healthy or make their rent payment or their mortgage payment.

No senior should spend hours on the telephone, shopping around for drugs or struggling to break a pill in half so they can get through the month because they can’t afford to refill a prescription.

It shouldn’t be this difficult for anyone to find affordable prescription medications when they need them.

And instead of addressing rising health care costs, the Republicans in Congress and President Trump are doing just the opposite.

They are handing down a raw deal, and doing everything they can to sabotage Americans’ health care.

They voted to weaken protections for folks with pre-existing conditions.

They voted to increase out-of-pocket expenses and premiums.

They voted to steal from Medicare and Medicaid…..in order to give a tax break to the biggest companies and wealthiest Americans in this country.

And even the GOP tax scam included policies to raise Americans’ health care costs by handing billions of dollars in tax cuts to huge pharmaceutical companies.

And the President announced this so-called “plan” to reduce prescription drugs, which will do nothing to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

As the Leader said, he abandoned his promise to take on big pharmaceutical companies.

We all know prescription drugs are rising at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate.

Americans pay more than double what people pay in other countries pay for their prescription drugs.

And per capita prescription drug spending in the United States exceeds that of all other countries.

And there are really no rules in place to stop drug companies from excessively raising prices on middle class families.

And to address this very real concern that we heard from so many of our constituents, we rolled out A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs months ago.

Specifically, the plan would allow the government to drive down drug prices by negotiating lower prescription drug prices for Medicare; it would require drug manufacturers to publicly release hard data and information justifying any significant increase; and it would crack down on price gouging in a very significant way.

This is A Better Deal for the American people, A Better Deal on Prescription Drugs, and it will once and for all re-write the rules so that the federal government is on the side of consumers and hardworking middle class American families, and not on the side of big pharmaceutical companies.

And with that I’ll return it back to our Chairman.

 

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