SAN DIEGO, CA – Aug. 16, 2022 – West Health President Timothy A. Lash issued the following statement on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 signed into law today by President Joe Biden. This landmark legislation will help reduce the cost of prescription drugs, extend subsidies for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance premiums, combat climate change, and reduce the federal deficit.
“For the first time, Medicare will be empowered to negotiate lower prescription drug prices directly with drug companies thanks to the enactment of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Other major healthcare provisions in the legislation include capping out-of-pocket expenses of prescription drugs and the cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries, extending Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance premium subsidies for three years, and imposing tax penalties on drugmakers that increase prices more than the rate of inflation.
Not a single Senate or House Republican supported the Inflation Reduction Act, and even before the legislative ink is dry, drugmakers are vowing to fight it and exact some sort of revenge on the members of Congress who voted to lower drug prices. The head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which represents America’s leading drug companies, recently told POLITICO, ‘We’ll do whatever we can to hold them accountable…I would expect there’ll be opportunities to further mitigate the harms of this legislation going forward.’
This is no idle threat. The drug industry and its army of lobbyists have been very successful in preventing meaningful drug pricing reforms for decades. They lost this one, but they’re not going away and neither is their insatiable desire for higher and higher profits. So while we can celebrate today, we cannot rest. West Health and the many other organizations and individuals who have fought long and hard for this day to come will continue to defend, fight and build on our progress so that no person in America need choose between paying for a high cost drug or paying for food. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is a historic victory that puts the country on a better path toward affordable healthcare, but we have not yet reached our final destination and cannot afford to give up any ground moving forward.”
About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs and enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.