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As Affordable Healthcare Law Faces Growing Threat, Spanberger Pushes to Protect and Improve Medicare Part D Drug Coverage

The Congresswoman Passed Legislation in December 2019 That Allows Medicare Part D to Negotiate Directly with Big Pharmaceutical Companies For Lower Prices

Washington, September 24, 2020

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement to recognize the 10th anniversary since the Affordable Care Act began the work of closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap for seniors’ prescription drug costs.

“A decade ago this week, provisions in the Affordable Care Act took the first step toward closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap that left millions of American seniors struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. Ten years later, drug prices have continued to skyrocket – and the administration’s persistent attempts to destroy the existing healthcare law threaten to turn back the clock and pry open that Medicare coverage gap once again,” said Spanberger. “We have made significant progress since 2010, expanding and improving on the existing healthcare law to provide affordable coverage to millions of Americans – including those with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, during this ten-year period, we’ve also seen an explosion in the cost of drugs like insulin that our seniors depend on every day. Yet at a time when the need for affordable prescription drug coverage is most acute, we continue to see the administration pursue every avenue to dismantle our healthcare system.”

“If they succeed, thousands of seniors in Virginia’s 7th District could be confronted with Medicare Part D benefits that are significantly less generous, forcing them to spend more out-of-pocket on prescription drugs. Personal budgets are already strained to breaking by the ongoing pandemic, and a sudden loss of assistance with prescription drug costs would be very harmful to the financial security of many Central Virginia seniors. I routinely hear from neighbors in our district who are paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their necessary medications each year. We should be working to build and improve on the existing law to reduce prescription drug costs across the board – not pursuing reckless lawsuits that would stick seniors with a higher bill.”

“I’ve worked across the aisle in the U.S. House to advance legislation that tackles the prescription drug affordability crisis. In December, I voted to pass landmark legislation that finally empowers Medicare Part D to negotiate directly with big pharmaceutical companies, attacking the problem at the root by fighting for lower prices. Even as we reflect on the progress of the past decade, I know our work on the issue of prescription drug costs is far from over. I’ll continue fighting to lower drug costs; increase competition and transparency in the pharmaceutical industry; expand access to safe, cheaper generics; and protect coverage for seniors and those with preexisting conditions.”  

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