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Schrader Lowers Prescription Drug Costs, Secures Key Priorities for Oregon Through Build Back Better Act

U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) issued the following statement after voting to pass the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Together, my colleagues and I passed a smartly targeted, paid-for Build Back Better Act in the House that delivers on Oregonians’ top priorities. I am especially proud my proposals to substantially lower prescription drug costs for all Americans, particularly our seniors, are core elements of the legislation.

I have long been a fierce champion of meaningful drug pricing policies that drive down costs while protecting innovation’s ability to produce lifesaving medications and cures. When this issue was left out of Build Back Better—the single greatest opportunity we have to allow Medicare to finally negotiate drug prices—I led the charge to incorporate a consequential, commonsense plan into the package. The legislation now includes my prescription drug price reduction piece which will be the most sweeping improvement in reducing drug costs since the inception of Medicare Part D over 15 years ago; it limits existing drug price increases to the rate of inflation; it caps seniors’ out-of-pocket costs to $2,000 annually which can be paid over the course of the year; it caps insulin to no more than $35 per month; and it includes my proposal to incentivize the use of generic drugs, known as biosimilars, which will boost competition in the marketplace as a means to drive down drug costs. These life-changing policies create a better healthcare system for everyone and ensure Oregonians can meet their health needs.

The Build Back Better Act also addresses other critical needs in Oregon, including improving child care access, costs and shortages so parents are able to join the workforce and fuel the economy; it expands coverage under the Affordable Care Act for middle class Oregonians to ensure they do not spend more than 8.5 percent of their annual income on health care; it provides real protections and opportunities for immigrant communities while paving the way for larger immigration reform in the future; and it implements policies that take on the climate crisis to better protect Oregon from extreme weather events like wildfires and drought while creating good-paying clean energy jobs.

Coupled with the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Package passed into law this week, the Build Back Better Act will further deliver transformational changes for Oregon families and businesses while balancing the economic health of our country for future generations. With the legislation now in the hands of the Senate, I look forward to working with my colleagues to further improve the bill, adapt to potential changes and see the landmark legislation across the finish line.”

More information about the Build Back Better Act can be found HERE.