Congressman Gomez on the Passage of H.R. 3 – the Lower Drug Costs Now Act – in Ways and Means Committee

Washington, October 22, 2019

Washington, D.C. – In response to Ways and Means advancing H.R. 3 – the Lower Drug Costs Now Act – and other health legislation, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) released the following statement:

“Americans should not be living in fear of making ends meet because of the skyrocketing costs of their prescription drugs. For far too long, high prescription drug costs have forced working families to choose between staying healthy and paying their bills. Under the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, Medicare will be allowed to negotiate lower prescription drug costs – a huge step in the right direction to relieve millions of Americans of financial distress and make critical, life-saving drugs affordable and accessible to those who need it most.”

The legislation advanced at today’s Ways and Means markup also improves benefits and accessibility for Medicare beneficiaries, adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to traditional Medicare, expanding eligibility for Medicare Extra Help programs so more low-income seniors will qualify, and improving health workforce training programs. Two bills authored by Congressman Gomez will be included in the final version of the legislation approved at the markup.

  • The Language Access for Medicare Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4675) – to be incorporated into the Lower Drug Costs Now Act – would require Medicare’s enrollment materials to be translated into additional languages beyond English and Spanish. Congressman Gomez previously called for this action in a letter signed by 62 of his colleagues in May.
  • The Tribal Healthcare Careers Act (H.R. 3340) – part of the Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398) – would specifically provide dedicated funds to federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal colleges and universities to administer their own HPOG programs. This bill is one component of a broader reauthorization and expansion of the Health Professional Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program, a workforce development training program for the health fields.

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