Getting the job done for the people
Just three days into this year, Pharma had already increased drug prices on more than 400 medicines, according to reports from CBS news.
As Americans were busy preparing for the holidays, President Trump’s lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act moved forward, once again putting the health care of millions in jeopardy.
With the health care of hardworking people on the line, Congress has a responsibility to act – and that’s just what the House of Representatives has done.
Last year, the House passed more than 10 bills to protect people with pre-existing conditions, reverse health care sabotage and lower prescription drug costs. We passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), landmark legislation that would give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies to bring down prices and make those savings available to hardworking families across America.
Many of the health care bills the House passed had support from Republicans and Democrats. Yet, they are collecting dust in the Senate where Republican Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring them for a vote.
And that’s just the beginning. McConnell would like you to believe the House has done nothing but investigate President Trump. That’s not true.
The House passed more than 400 bills last year – the majority of them with support from both parties.
Many have even become law, proving that when McConnell allows the Senate to work with us, we can get important things done for the people we serve.
Still, there is so much important work left to do and McConnell is standing in the way – proudly calling himself the “grim reaper” and refusing to do his job.
Like the legislation to lower drug costs and protect people with pre-existing conditions, about 80 percent of the bills the House passed last year are stuck in the Senate, even though the vast majority of them have Republican support. These are commonsense priorities like raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, protecting the retirement security of workers, reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, prohibiting insider trading, and cleaning up government.
With the new year underway, House Democrats are continuing our work For the People, and we invite Leader McConnell to work with us – or at very least, stop standing in the way.
Too much is at stake for the people we serve. Pharma didn’t waste any time in getting to work this year raising drug prices. We cannot afford for Leader McConnell to waste another year refusing to let us act.
Cicilline is Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) chairman, Cartwright, Dingell and Lieu are co-chairs of the DPCC. The DPCC is a House leadership office.