Today, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) delivered the following statement at a Capitol Hill press conference where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its "Pay-for-Delay: How Drug Company Pay-Offs Cost Consumers Billions" report. Joining Rush were Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), U. S. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) and FTC Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
"Thank you, Chris and good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
"My colleagues and I stand here, today, in the shadow of the passage of long overdue health care legislation aimed at improving the lives of millions of Americans. As we do so, we are lifting our voices in an urgent appeal to the leadership in the House, in the Senate and in the White House to do right by the American people by making sure they can afford the cost of life-saving, prescription medications.
"A provision I've supported for years, that enjoys bipartisan support in the House, would put an end--once and for all--to the so-called "pay for delay" practice.
"Pay for delay" represents the misguided, profit-driven interests of a bygone era. Over the years, the financial burden it has imposed on low-income and working-class families has become intolerable.
"I urge those who are working to reconcile the House and Senate health care bills to preserve my amendment, which is outlined in Section 2573 of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
"By doing so, this Congress and this President can declare, once and for all, that the "greed is good' mantra of Wall Street has no place in Americans' medicine cabinets.
"Not only is my provision the right thing to do, but it actually helps reduce the federal deficit. The Congressional Budget Office has scored my amendment and found that it would actually cut the Federal deficit by $1.9 billion over 10 years.
"If passed into law, this provision would close the profit-center that "pay for delay" has turned into for branded and generic pharmaceutical companies. And, it would serve as an important means for providing affordable health insurance for currently uninsured consumers.
"Clearly, this provision is a "win win" for taxpayers and a "win win" for uninsured Americans.
"For these reasons and more, I urge those who are working diligently to deliver comprehensive health care reform for the American people to keep this provision in the final bill.
"Thank you very much."