GOP Legislators Complain About Drug Prices But Voted Against Reducing Cost

GOP Legislators Complain About Drug Prices But Voted Against Reducing Cost

At least two dozen House Republicans have called on Congress to address the rising costs of prescription drugs after voting against legislation to rein in the rising costs of prescription drugs.

The most recent to do so was Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who went on Fox Business Monday morning demanding the House address the issue — which was addressed in December.

“Here’s the problem: We’ve got to get back to actually governing,” Collins said.

“The American people want to see us put a budget together. They want to see drug pricing taken care of,” he added.

In December 2019, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The bill would allow the federal government to negotiate Medicare drug prices and put in provisions to prevent prescription drug cost spikes.

Since Jan. 1, the costs of more than 630 prescription drugs have increased. The legislation opposed by these Republicans would reduce the cost of medication to treat breast cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and other medical conditions by as much as 96%.

For example, the cost of Humira, a drug to help with arthritis, would drop by by 81 percent, from $34,411 per year to $8,276 per year. Premarin, a drug to fight breast cancer, would drop in price by 96 percent, from $568 to just $21 per year, according to an analysis by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Collins, along with 190 other Republicans, voted against the bill.

Since that Dec. 12 vote, at least 24 Republicans have written on Facebook or Twitter about the high cost of prescription drugs.

On Jan. 27, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) tweeted he had heard from “countless folks” in his district that “prescription drugs cost too much.”

“They’re right,” Upton added, not mentioning that he voted against a bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

“The cost of health care and prescription drugs is too high,” Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) wrote on Feb. 4. “Republicans are committed to lowering costs,” she added, despite her vote against H.R. 3.

“Congress should now act with the President on issues such as the high cost of prescription drugs, the high cost of health care, border security, and keeping our very strong economy going,” Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) wrote on Facebook on Feb. 4, two months after voting against a bill to lower the high cost of prescription drugs.

In late January, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that House Democrats’ ignoring the issue of prescription drugs “is gonna cost them” in November’s election.

Republican after Republican has taken to social media to lament the high cost of prescription drugs, yet only two Republicans voted for legislation to lower their cost in the House.

IMAGE: EpiPen auto-injection epinephrine pens manufactured by Mylan NV pharmaceutical company for use by severe allergy sufferers are seen in Washington, U.S. August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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