Senator Tammy Baldwin: cutting personal spending

When I ran for the Senate in 2012, I stressed how wrong it was that the Secretary of Health and Human Services was barred from negotiating prescription drug prices on behalf of millions of Medicare recipients. That’s why I’m working on reforms that would reduce out-of-pocket health care costs and save hundreds of billions of dollars for taxpayers by giving Medicare the ability to directly negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Not only is it common sense, it’s extremely popular. A recent public opinion survey showed that 92% of Wisconsinians are in favor of allowing Medicare to use its leverage to negotiate prescription drug price cuts for the state’s more than 1 million people in the program.

With the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, I am proud to be helping millions of seniors and working families. The new law ensures that Medicare patients get better deals on expensive drugs. It also caps out-of-pocket spending for Medicare recipients at $2,000 a year and makes drug companies liable for price increases by requiring them to refund the Medicare difference if they raise prices above the inflation rate.

For too long, skyrocketing prescription drug prices have been a burden on working families, while pharmaceutical companies have been making record profits. One particular drug that has been overpriced is insulin. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 older people is living with diabetes, and people with type 1 require affordable insulin several times a day. It may be a matter of life or death, but rising prices have made this drug out of reach for too many. The Inflation Reduction Act makes affordable insulin affordable for older people enrolled in Medicare, capping out-of-pocket spending at $35 a month.

In addition to providing assistance to the elderly, the law also includes a three-year extension of expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies that Congress passed last year under the American Plan of Rescue Act. The extension will increase the financial assistance available to people already eligible to buy subsidized plans in the ACA markets, as well as expand subsidies to more people, many of whom were previously unpaid.

I voted for the Inflation Reduction Act to get results by reducing the personal spending of people like Otis across the country. This is a real life-changing relief for working families, and it’s time to get the job done for them.

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