West Virginia state and local representatives urge Biden, Congress to pass Rx drug reform with medicare negotiations

West Virginia Headlines

Twenty-eight elected officials from across West Virginia, along with the former Senate President, sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Congressional leadership urging them to pass bold prescription drug reform that gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for consumers. 

State and local officials in West Virginia say drug companies raise prices on life-saving medications that treat diabetes, cancer, asthma, and other chronic conditions while spending billions of dollars in stock buybacks and pay hikes for their executives.

Local elected are saying consumers in the United States pay nearly three times as much for their medications as people do in other countries. High drug prices force millions of people to ration their prescription drugs or to go without altogether in order to afford other essentials like rent, food, and utilities. While people from all walks of life struggle to pay for medications they need to survive, seniors, children, people with disabilities, and people of color tend to bear the brunt of these high costs more than others.

The West Virginia officials say with

H.R.3, Congress and the Biden administration have the opportunity to finally give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices and bring relief to families across the country. In their letter, the elected representatives wrote:

“Not only does giving Medicare the power to negotiate help patients at the pharmacy counter, but it would save the federal government $500 billion, which could be reinvested to strengthen health care for millions. These savings could help lower premiums on the ACA marketplaces, expand coverage to Americans stuck in the Medicaid coverage gap, fund health care provider shortages and strengthen Medicare benefits to include hearing, vision, and dental. 

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally bring down drug prices for American families. The anxiety of not being able to afford health care felt by American families across the country has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has never been a more urgent time to improve the health and well-being of American families. The time to act is now.” 

Signatories to the letter include:

  • Mayor Steve Williams – Huntington, WV
  • Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin – Charleston, WV
  • Mayor Glenn Elliott – Wheeling, WV
  • Senator Richard Lindsay – Kanawha County, WV
  • Senator Ron Stollings – Boone County, WV
  • Senator Bob Beach – Monongalia County, WV
  • Senator Glenn Jeffries – Putnam County, WV
  • Senator Mike Caputo – Marion County, WV
  • Senator Stephen Baldwin – Greenbrier County, WV
  • Delegate Doug Skaff, House Minority Leader – Kanawha County, WV
  • Delegate Shawn Fluharty, House Minority Whip – Ohio County, WV
  • Delegate Mike Pushkin – Kanawha County, WV
  • Delegate Kayla Young – Kanawha County, WV
  • Delegate Jim Barach – Kanawha County, WV
  • Delegate Barbara Fleischauer – Monongalia County, WV
  • Delegate John Williams – Monongalia County, WV
  • Delegate Danielle Walker – Monongalia County, WV
  • Delegate Evan Hansen – Monongalia County, WV
  • Delegate John Doyle – Jefferson County, WV
  • Delegate Joey Garcia – Mario County, WV
  • Delegate Chad Lovejoy – Cabell County, WV
  • Delegate Sean Hornbuckle – Cabell County, WV
  • Delegate Cody Thompson – Randolph County, WV
  • Delegate Lisa Zukoff – Marshall County, WV
  • Delegate Ric Griffith – Wayne County, WV
  • Delegate Ed Evans – McDowell County, WV
  • Delegate Dave Pethtel – Wetzel County, WV
  • Delegate Phil Diserio – Brooke County, WV
  • Former Senate President, Lt. Governor, Jeff Kessler

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