CARSON CITY, Nevada – Groups that advocate for older Americans are pushing for passage of the Build Back Better Act, which is due to be voted on today in the United States House of Representatives.
The bill contains a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug companies on the ten most expensive prescription drugs, which was previously prohibited.
Barry Gold, director of government relations for AARP Nevada, said there is no bigger issue affecting the wallets of Nevada seniors than the cost of their prescriptions.
“Allowing Medicare to finally negotiate drug prices is a victory,” Gold said. “Adding this hard cap of $ 2,000 as well will provide real relief to seniors with the highest drug costs.”
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that in 2019, more than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 65 were spending more than $ 2,000 a year on health care expenses.
The Build Back Better legislation still faces obstacles. It must be approved by the Senate, which could remove important provisions. The amended bill is then expected to pass the House again before making its way to President Joe Biden’s office.
The bill would also cap out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin at $ 35, starting in 2023. Gold called this a âbig winâ for millions of people with diabetes across the country.
âThis is something that has never happened before,â noted Gold. “And insulin has been around for about 100 years, but the price is going up more and more, and there’s no reason for that. So it’s going to help a lot of people who depend on insulin.”
The Build Back Better Act would also expand Medicare benefits to cover hearing, and it for the first time includes a federal paid time off policy, allowing people to take time off work to care for a sick relative.
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