Sen. Hatch, as one of your Utah constituents, I am writing to urge you to call for votes on bills in the Senate Finance Committee that would address the high prices that Americans are paying for prescription drugs.
The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) has informed me there are at least three bills in your committee worthy of having a vote. These are:
S. 41, Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2017, to allow Medicare to negotiate the best possible price of prescription drugs. Introduced Jan. 5.
S. 1688, Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act of 2017, would allow Medicare to negotiate best prices for prescription drugs to cut costs for seniors. Introduced Aug. 1.
S.771, Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Act of 2017, seeks to tackle prescription drug costs by increasing transparency and accountability, boosting access, preventing pay-for-delay deals to keep generics off the market, more affordability of key drugs, spurring innovation, and increase choice and competition, including allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Introduced March 29.
The NRLN does not understand why you have not brought these bills up for a vote. Hopefully, your reason is not due to the fact that you have received $991,909 in a six-year period in campaign and leadership PAC contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry. This information is according to OpenSecrets.Org Center for Responsive Politics.
Further, your answer for not supporting these bills — “I can’t show favoritism to bills because of my position on the Senate Finance Committee” — flies in the face of your reasons for asking us to support your re-election to the Senate.
More than half of Americans say that lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported in March 2017.
Neil West, South Jordan