U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., voted Thursday to pass legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs for families across Kansas’ 3rd District.
The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, H.R. 3, gives Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices, and makes those lower prices available even to those with private insurance.
“When Kansans go to the pharmacy to pick up their medication, they deserve a fair deal on their drug prices,” Rep. Davids said. “This legislation will lower costs for Kansans and stop drug companies from gouging consumers, while saving patients and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few years. I was proud to join my House colleagues in passing this critical piece of legislation, and now it’s time for the Senate to finally stand up to Big Pharma and do the same.”
Nonpartisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office found that this legislation will save taxpayers $456 billion in Medicare Part D Spending from 2023 to 2029. The Office of the Actuary found that it will save households $158 billion and private businesses $46 billion from 2020 to 2029.
H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act:
• Gives Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower drug prices, while ensuring seniors don’t lose access to the prescriptions they need.
• Makes the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries.
• Stops drug companies from charging Americans double and triple the price for the same medication as people in other countries pay.
• Creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and stops unfair price hikes for thousands of medications, including insulin.
• Reinvests in the biggest improvements to Medicare since its creation – delivering vision, dental and hearing benefits – and accelerating the search for new cures.
Residents who are served by Atmos Energy for natural gas have until 5 p.m. Dec. 13 to make a public comment on the rate increase proposal.
A public hearing was held in September on the rate increase, with residents allowed to make additional comments through Dec. 13. Atmos has about 135,000 customers in Kansas.
Atmos applied for a $7.1 million revenue increase in June. If approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission, the average monthly bill for residential customers would increase about $3.83 per month, or 13.4 percent, according to information from the KCC.
Residents may visit the KCC website at www.kcc.ks.gov and click on the “Your Opinion Matters” link to make a comment.
Public comments also were being taken by telephone at the KCC’s public affairs office, 1-800-662-0027 or 785-271-3140.
The KCC is expected to make a decision on the rate increase request on or before Feb. 24. More information about the rate case is at http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/portal/kscc/PSC/DocketDetails.aspx?DocketId=9f5bb6f5-845e-4800-ac07-58edc42df43c.