Bill to Make Hearing Aids More Affordable For Seniors Included
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) voted to pass H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will help bring down the cost of prescription drugs and level the playing field for American patients who are paying more for their medicines than patients in other countries. The comprehensive health care legislation included McBath’s bill to cover hearing aids for Medicare beneficiaries.
“When I hear from constituents across the Sixth District, there is no issue more personal than the sickening cost of prescription drugs. I’ve had breast cancer twice, and in my district alone, this bill could lower breast cancer medication by $45,100,” said McBath. “I continue to hear heartbreaking stories from people in my community who are forced to skip doses or ration their insulin, and H.R.3 could lower the costs of that lifesaving drug by up to 94%. Their experiences are similar to many Americans who worry about paying for their prescription drugs. I am so proud to support one of the most comprehensive prescription drug bills to ever come out of the House, a bill that will help lower drug prices for all Americans, save almost half a trillion dollars for American taxpayers, and invest those savings in research to find new, innovative treatments.”
This bill gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies and make those new, lower drug prices available to Americans with private insurance. H.R. 3 limits the maximum price for any negotiated drug to be similar to the average price of countries like ours, and creates a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. The CBO estimates the American people will save almost half a trillion dollars, and H.R.3 will use those savings to expand Medicare coverage, while reinvesting in innovation and the search for new cures and treatments.
In Georgia’s Sixth District, 74,087 people are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 593,486 people enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from H.R.3. Those living with cancer, arthritis, asthma, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis are expected to experience significant savings as a result of H.R.3:
- Patients living with breast cancer : In 2019, an estimated 8,000 women in Georgia will be diagnosed with breast cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the breast cancer medication Ibrance by 65%.
- Patients living with leukemia : In 2019, an estimated 1,800 people in Georgia will be diagnosed with leukemia. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the leukemia medication Tasigna by 71%.
- Patients living with prostate cancer : In 2019, an estimated 5,400 people in Georgia will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the prostate cancer medication Zytiga by 66%.
- Patients with arthritis : 23.6% of Georgia residents have arthritis, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.
- Patients with asthma : About 8.4% of Georgia residents live with asthma, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.
- Patients with HIV/AIDS : In 2015, 2,588 Georgia residents were diagnosed with HIV, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.
- Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) : One million people are living with MS in the United States, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most MS drugs from about $40,000 to $13,000 per year.
In addition to lowering prescription drug prices, H.R.3 also reinvests savings into expanding Medicare coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services for constituents in Georgia’s Sixth District.
- About 90% of beneficiaries or 88,900 people stand to gain from adding a dental benefit.
- About 77% of beneficiaries or 76,700 people stand to gain from adding a vision benefit.
- About 82% of beneficiaries or 81,300 people stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit.