Washington, D.C. — Today, the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following remarks in opposition of H.R. 3, partisan and dangerous legislation that would lead to fewer cures for patients:
“Why should patients have to choose between affordable medicines and a life-saving cure for Alzheimers, ALS, Parkinson’s, or cancer?
“Why should parents with sick children be forced to wait longer for the newest breakthrough that could save their life?
“Why should Americans face a shorter life, because the costliest and most painful drug is the one that is never created?
“At the depths of Nancy Pelosi’s drug bill is a dangerous trade-off: lower drug prices in the short-term but fewer life-saving cures in the future.
“And not just a few cures lost, but many, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office and the Council of Economic Advisors. Up to 38 cures lost according to CBO. Up to 100 according to CEA.
“The California Life Sciences Association predicts that nearly 9 of 10 new drugs would never be made available – never – from their researchers and small biotech companies if the Pelosi bill becomes law.
“This is a cruel and false choice. Which is why this bill will quickly die with no real bipartisan support in the Senate.
“As Republicans, we believe we need to do both: lower drug prices and accelerate new life-saving cures.
“Our bill, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, lowers out-of-pocket costs for Americans by cracking down on overpriced drugs, empowering seniors to choose the right place to get medicines which can cut the cost of chemotherapy in half, pulling back the curtain on those who set drug prices, forcing drug companies to justify their increases and list their prices in their advertising.
“And we accelerate – not kill – lifesaving medical cures.
“We permanently make it easier for Americans to deduct high medical expenses from their taxes, allow them to use their Health Savings Account for over-the-counter medicines, including feminine products; and we save seniors over $300 on their medicines in the popular Medicare prescription drug program.
“All these proven ideas are bipartisan.
“All of these can be passed by Congress.
“All of these can be signed by President Trump this year if Democrats abandon their partisan games and re-continue what was our bipartisan work that got shelved for the Pelosi Drug Bill.
“I’ll finish with this.
“As a Member of the Ways and Means Committee, we the Republican Congress joined with President George W. Bush in 2003 to create an affordable drug plan for seniors, Then-Leader Pelosi and Democrats tried to kill it. She famously predicted that creating the crucial Part D prescription plan for the elderly ‘would end Medicare as we know it.’
“Can you imagine how many seniors’ lives would have been lost if she had succeeded in stopping the affordable Medicare drug program 43 million seniors have come to depend upon today?
“Nancy Pelosi and Democrats were dangerously wrong then.
“Can Americans afford the pain and risk ones when they are dangerously wrong again?”