MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICE NEGOTIATION ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - January 12, 2007)
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Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Speaker, I represent the fastest growing senior population in the United States. Many of the seniors that I represent have no other income than their Social Security check. Many need multiple medications. Many cannot afford the medications that they need.
It never made any sense to me that we had a Medicare system that enabled seniors to go to a doctor but, when the doctor prescribed the medication that they needed, many seniors were unable to afford the medication that the doctor prescribed. So I was a great advocate for a prescription medication benefit for older Americans.
The Republicans' prescription medication so-called benefit that was passed at 6 o'clock in the morning as we sat here or stood here watching in horror as arms were twisted and threats were made on the other side of the aisle in order to garner enough votes to pass this dog of a piece of legislation, it has never benefited enough seniors that were in desperate need of affordable medication. So if it didn't benefit our seniors, whom did this legislation benefit? It benefited the pharmaceutical industry.
The bill that was passed was so bad that it is hard to point out the worst part of it. But if I were a betting woman, and coming from Vegas I am a betting woman, I would say that the worst, the absolute worst, section was the one that prohibits our government from negotiating with drug companies for lower drug prices for our seniors. It doesn't take a genius to know that allowing the government to negotiate drug prices will lower the cost. It is common sense. The VA has been negotiating for years, and it saves our veterans millions of dollars.
We should be encouraging our government to negotiate lower prices instead of allowing our drug companies to increase the costs.
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