Congress can expand and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid under the Build Back Better Act, enhancing the lives of millions of seniors while also providing a lifeline to people living in areas where Republican lawmakers are squeezing public services. But, to accomplish these widespread reforms, we must overcome Big Pharma’s lobbyists, greedy lobbyists, and politicians who take their money.
It wasn’t enough for Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Scott Peters of California, Kathleen Rice of New York, and Stephanie Murphy of Florida voted against the Lower Prescription Costs Now Act. This comprehensive package would empower Medicare to negotiate drug costs (H.R. 3). Instead, in a ridiculous public act to satisfy the pharmaceutical industry, these politicians tried to disrupt efforts to cut the cost of prescription drugs by offering a toothless alternative.
Representatives from companies, who have spent $18 million on commercials opposing medication price discussions since July, are attempting to set Medicaid against Medicare by claiming that we cannot afford to do both. This is a wrong decision. Both can and should be expanded. Yet, by attempting to force Congress to choose between the two, affluent CEOs and selfish lobbyists create a false dilemma. However, grassroots voices from all around the country are rising to fight back.