Murray Highlights Lower Prescription Drug and Health Care Costs as Key Campaign Issue 

Press Release | September 21, 2022

Murray: “We beat Big Pharma, and made enormous progress, especially for our seniors. We’re bringing drug companies to the bargaining table, and patients everywhere are going to benefit.”

Murray: “Democrats understand that life-saving medicine doesn’t do any good if people can’t afford it. And we’re doing something to make sure everyone can get the care they need.”

Health care tax credits Murray championed in American Rescue Plan and extended in Inflation Reduction Act helped bring national uninsured rate to an all-time low

***WATCH: Video of press call HERE***

(Spokane, WA) — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray joined health care patients and advocates from Spokane on a press call to discuss what’s at stake in this election and Senator Murray’s work to secure lower prescription drug costs in the Inflation Reduction Act, which was recently signed into law by President Biden. Video of the press call is available here

The Inflation Reduction Act allows Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs, which will bring down costs for patients everywhere and generate enormous savings for taxpayers. The legislation will cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket prescription drugs costs at $2,000 a year, cap their insulin costs at $35 a month, and cap price increases on their prescriptions at the rate of inflation so that drug makers cannot jack up prices to juice their own profits — helping the more than 1.4 million Medicare recipients in Washington state save money on their prescriptions.

“For years, I’ve heard from countless patients across Washington state who cannot afford their prescription drugs. And every year in Congress, I fight for policies to hold giant pharmaceutical companies accountable and lower costs for all of us,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Health Committee. “This year, when we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, patients won — we beat Big Pharma, and made enormous progress, especially for our seniors. We’re bringing drug companies to the bargaining table, and patients everywhere are going to benefit. No one should have to empty their savings account just so they can fill a prescription. This isn’t just about saving people money; this is going to save lives. The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest step Congress has ever taken to lower prescription drug costs, and I’m very proud to have worked to get it across the finish line.”

“Republicans have no health care plan. They have no plans to lower everyday costs for people in Washington state. The last time Republicans controlled Congress, their plan was to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and deliver massive tax giveaways for billionaires and giant corporations — and they managed to get half of that accomplished. We cannot give them a chance to finish the job and take us all backwards,” 
Murray continued. “Democrats understand that lifesaving medicine doesn’t do any good if people can’t afford it. And we’re doing something to make sure everyone can get the care they need.”

Overwhelming majorities of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate prescription drug costs, and eight in ten U.S. adults (83%) say the cost of prescription drugs is “unreasonable.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act is landmark and historic legislation,” 
said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “It will dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs and reduce health care insurance for millions, saving families thousands of dollars a year, keeping them healthy, and addressing systemic inequities in access to care. This legislation is a victory over special interests. It will make a real difference in the lives of real people. Every single Republican in the U.S. Senate voted against this bill — and we know that if Republicans take control of the Senate, they will try to repeal this bill, starting on day one. Senator Murray is a leader we can count on, and a leader we truly need.”
“My parents are elderly — when I was younger, they never took pills, but as they got older, they started to rely more on prescription medicine. My mom is diabetic, and the insulin measure Patty Murray got in the Inflation Reduction Act is so important to her. My parents are on a fixed income, so every penny counts for them. When this bill got passed, it was a real plus for them and they’re really appreciative of the work that Patty Murray has done,” 
said Rick Olson, Vice President of the Washington State Alliance of Retired Americans, which represents retirees in Eastern Washington.

The Inflation Reduction Act will also extend — for three full years — the health care tax credits Senator Murray championed in the American Rescue Plan, which have saved millions of Americans thousands of dollars on health care, spurred record enrollment on the health exchanges, and helped bring our nation’s uninsured rate to an all-time low. In Washington, thanks to the tax credits, more than 60,000 new people signed up for health care coverage last year, two in five found coverage for less than $100 a month, and 40,000 Washingtonians were eligible for coverage that cost less than $10 a month.

“I did not receive health coverage until I was about 18 years old and the Affordable Care Act was passed and Medicaid eligibility was expanded. I know firsthand how important it is to have access to affordable health coverage, and how important it is to one’s physical and mental wellbeing,” said Vivian Sather, a Washington state Healthcare Navigator from Spokane. “People’s lives are at stake when access to health care isn’t available. I’m a huge proponent of the ACA, because, as an insurance navigator, I help individuals and families every day get connected to health coverage on Washington Healthplanfinder. The American Rescue Plan made it possible for people to enroll in health coverage, with more tax credits available to lower their monthly premiums. With Senator Murray’s help championing the extension of these benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act, the people I help everyday will be able to continue accessing affordable health coverage.”