Congressman Jimmy Gomez on the Passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act

Washington, December 12, 2019

Washington, D.C. – In response to the House of Representatives passing H.R. 3 – the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act – Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) released the following statement:

“The passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act represents a victory for the millions of Americans who have felt the crushing financial burden of skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Under this legislation, Medicare will be able to negotiate lower prescription drug costs, and those lower drug prices would be available to Americans with private insurance. These provisions, and others designed to lower costs, would eliminate the impossible decision working families are forced to make each day of choosing between their health and their bills. While the late Chairman Elijah Cummings – who spent his entire life protecting working families – never got to see the bill that bears his name, his legacy as a champion for our most vulnerable will live on in the millions of Americans who will now be able to access the affordable, critical, and life-saving drugs they need.”

H.R. 3 saves taxpayers almost half a trillion dollars in prescription drug costs, and reinvests those savings by improving 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 were passed with H.R. 3 by the House of Representatives:

  • The Language Access for Medicare Beneficiaries Act (H.R. 4675) 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) would specifically provide dedicated funds to federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal colleges and universities to administer their own Health Professional Opportunity Grant (HPOG) programs. This bill is one component of a broader reauthorization and expansion of the HPOG program, a workforce development training program for the health fields.

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