Congresswoman Elaine Luria Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Costs for Coastal Virginians

December 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) announced the House’s passage of H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. This bill would lower prescription drug costs for over 600,000 residents of Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

“Today, I voted for landmark legislation that would lower prescription drug costs for hundreds of thousands of Coastal Virginians,” Congresswoman Luria said. “The Lower Drug Costs Now Act is an overdue bill that would ease the financial burdens of many hardworking families while funding groundbreaking research. I urge the Senate to make life-saving prescription drugs more affordable for all Americans by passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.”   

H.R. 3 will give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower drug prices for Coastal Virginians covered by private insurance and Medicare. Congresswoman Luria’s amendment to strengthen this provision was incorporated into the House-passed bill. The amendment would ensure that federal employees benefit from the lower drug prices that Medicare negotiates. This would help 30,000 federal workers in Virginia’s Second Congressional District benefit from the newly lowered drug prices.

The Lower Drug Costs Now Act ensures that Americans will no longer pay significantly more for their prescription drugs than people overseas. It would achieve this by mandating that manufacturers of drugs subject to negotiation agree on a price no higher than 120 percent of the average price in other industrialized countries.

H.R. 3 would also implement a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for people covered by Medicare. This would reverse years of unfair price increases that are well above the price of inflation for thousands of drugs in Medicare.

According to guidance from the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3 is estimated to save approximately $500 billion over the next ten years. These savings will be used to reinvest in Medicare, allowing Medicare to include new vision, dental, and hearing benefits and coverage. The $500 billion in savings would also fund National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiatives that assist the research and development for breakthrough cures and treatments.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.