Protect American Consumers from Rising Drug Prices

Today’s Daily Action is borrowed from 5Calls.org, an all-volunteer, open-source project that provides targeted, detailed information on critical issues facing our country. 5Calls provides information and sample scripts that you can use to make your voice heard by our elected representatives. 5Calls.org’s effort is intended to make advocacy accessible and to “make it effortless for regular people to have a voice when it’s needed most.” (https://5calls.org/about/)

Against the background of Trump’s continued and multi-faceted attacks on affordable health care for all Americans, Congress is working on legislation to address critical price increases of prescription drugs by pharmaceutical companies and to shore up protection for affordable health care. Last week the House passed H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. In the Senate, two bills have been introduced for similar purposes: S. 62 (Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act of 2019) and S. 102 (Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019).

From 5Calls.org:

“Rising prescription drug costs continue to threaten U.S. residents’ physical and financial health, leaving millions of Americans unable to afford essential medications. Nevertheless, pharmaceutical companies have continued to increase prices on critical drugs like insulin. Despite Donald Trump’s vocal campaign promises to limit prescription spending, his administration’s proposed approach does nothing to curb pharmaceutical companies’ ability to set astronomical drug prices. Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced a number of bills designed to meaningfully decrease prescription costs, some of which have bipartisan support from Republicans. A few key proposals from these bills include:

  • Accelerating the process to bring generic drugs to market

  • Limiting consumers’ out-of-pocket spending

  • Allowing consumers to buy lower-priced medications from Canada, in turn driving down prices for US drugs due to increased competition

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug makers to increase transparency and lower prices

  • Requiring brand name drugs to lower excessive prices or face direct competition from generic drugs

As these bills are introduced and considered, constituents must urge their representatives to support legislation to substantively control prescription drug costs.”

ACTION: Email MOCs to express support for H.R. 987, S.62, S.102.

Using email contacts below, send your message of support on this important issue. Feel free to include one or more of your concerns from the list above, or to describe a personal story of escalating prescription drug costs. It is also fine to call MOC offices and leave voicemail instead, if desired; in your message mention your name and city/zip so that staff can identify you when they log the call.

SCRIPT/SUGGESTED THOUGHTS:

“Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm a constituent from [CITY, ZIP]. I am very concerned about affordable health care, and about drug companies increasing prices. [Your reason here.] I am in support of H.R.987/S.62/S102), legislation that addresses runaway drug prices. Thank you.“

Background:

“AARP Statement on the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act” - https://press.aarp.org/2019-05-17-AARP-Statement-Strengthening-Health-Care-and-Lowering-Prescription-Drug-Costs-Act

“House Passes Legislation Aiming to Shore Up Health Law and Lower Drug Costs” - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/politics/house-health-care-drug-costs.html

“Pelosi Floor Speech in Support of the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act” - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/politics/house-health-care-drug-costs.html

DID YOU KNOW?

You can look up the progress, description, and sponsors for any Congressional legislation. Go to https://www.congress.gov/, where you can type in the number of the legislation (e.g., H.R. 987) and view the data for that bill. On the landing page for congress.gov you’ll also see: “Most-Viewed Bills” and “Top 10”; a list of current legislative activities and upcoming House and Senate Committee meetings; “Yesterday in Congress”; and “Presented to President”, and other lists of legislation and Congressional activity.

EVENTS

#StopTheBans Day of Action - Tuesday, May 21, 12:00 noon

Sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice America, an organization that fights for "reproductive rights for every person in every state" (https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/about/).

Join us for a nationwide rally to highlight right to reproductive choice everywhere, THIS Tuesday, May 21, 12:00 noon at City Hall, 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.

"This Tuesday, May 21st at noon local time at statehouses, town squares, and courthouses across the nation, we will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women. Together we say: Stop the bans."

You can RSVP here: https://act.indivisible.org/event/stop-abortion-bans-day-of-action/140905

SEATTLE INDIVISIBLE MEETING

Tuesday, May. 21, 7:00 pm – Seattle Indivisible Meeting (1st & 3rd Tuesdays):

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2019!

Join Rep. Jayapal's District Director Rachel Berkson to break down both the policy and the strategy behind making Medicare for All the law.

And yes, we know it's complicated. That's why we're having this meeting! All are welcome! Bring questions and find out how you can help!

Bottom Line:
The current healthcare system in the United States is ineffective, inefficient and outrageously expensive. Something has to change.
https://www.seattleindivisible.com/events-calendar/2019/5/21/medicare-4-all-rep-jayapals-district-director-rachel-berkson

At the Washington State Labor Council in the Central District, 321 16th Avenue. This meeting venue is wheelchair-accessible, and can be reached by King County Metro buses 7, 14, 27, and 106, and the First Hill Streetcar.

At the Washington State Labor Council in the Central District, 321 16th Avenue. This meeting venue is wheelchair-accessible, and can be reached by King County Metro buses 7, 14, 27, and 106, and the First Hill Streetcar.