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Issue Briefs

Families across America are facing a health care affordability crisis, and the egregiously high costs of prescription drugs play a big part. People are forced to ration or skip their lifesaving and sustaining medications all because of the cost. What many Americans might not know is that not only do high and rising drug prices drive up health care costs for people at the pharmacy counter, but they also drive-up health care premiums and deductibles and are often experienced in the form of reduced wages!

When a drug company abusively increases its prices, the amount insurance companies pay increases, and insurance premiums increase right along with them, for everyone, whether or not they take prescription drugs. That also means those taking a prescription drug are paying the high costs more than once– at the counter and in their insurance premiums.

To improve health care affordability for everyone, we must address the root causes of high drug costs. To address these abusive costs affecting the entire health care system, Congress should:

  1. Broaden the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act to the commercial market to better protect ALL consumers, including allowing commercial insurance to voluntarily adopt the Medicare negotiated rate and extending the inflation rebate.

  2. Take steps to address and correct for abusive behavior of drug manufacturers, including ending patent abuses and ensuring bringing generic drugs into the market faster.

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