Maloney, Delgado tout bill to lower prescription drug costs

Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Antonio Delgado cheered the House passage on Thursday of a bill that would cap prescription drug expenses and seek to lower them for seniors by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.

The bill, named after the late Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings, was approved in a party-line vote of 230-192, with all Democrats in support and all but two Republicans opposed. Among other steps, the legislation would cap out-of-pocket drug expenses for Medicare recipients at $2,000; set an international index for drug prices to keep U.S. costs in line with those in other countries; and expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing care.

“No New Yorker should be forced to choose between paying for the prescription drugs they need or putting food on the table,” Maloney, a Cold Spring Democrat, said in a statement. “Today, we stood up to powerful drug companies and demanded that patients come before profits. This bill will lower drug costs for thousands of folks in the Hudson Valley and millions of Americans – and I’m proud to support it.”

Delgado, a Rhinebeck Democrat whose district neighbors Maloney’s, noted the Cummings bill included a proposal he had introduced to exempt seniors’ retirement-fund income from their eligibility to receive a subsidy for Medicare’s Part D drug coverage.

“As I hold town halls across NY-19 and hear about the issues facing seniors, skyrocketing prescription drug costs are at the top of the list,” Delgado said in a statement.

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