Senator Stabenow, Congresswoman Slotkin in Lansing Highlighting Major Reforms to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Senate-Passed Inflation Reduction Act Lowers the Cost of Prescription Drugs, including Insulin, and Health Insurance

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

LANSING – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin today highlighted major reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Stabenow and Slotkin were joined by Ingham County Health Department Director Linda Vail, Tri-County Office on Aging Advisory Council Representative Gloria Kovnot, and Eaton County Resident Fonda Brewer. President Joe Biden plans to sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law today.


Senator Stabenow has been a longtime champion in the fight to cut the cost of prescription drugs and was instrumental in including major reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation empowers Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and caps the Medicare out-of-pocket cost of insulin to $35 per month. It also caps Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year, and allows people to spread their costs over monthly payments. In addition, it increases help for low-income seniors on Medicare, provides free Medicare coverage of all vaccines, and penalizes drug companies for price hikes in Medicare that exceed the rate of inflation. It also lowers costs for people who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.


“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs and it’s outrageous! To add insult to injury, taxpayers provide hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for the basic research that brings the new drugs to market. That’s why lowering the cost of life-saving medicine has been a major priority for me for years,” said Senator Stabenow. “I am very proud that my Democratic colleagues joined me in standing up to Big Pharma to get Michiganders and all Americans the help they need so they can afford their medicine.”


“Like many Americans, healthcare and the cost of prescription drugs is a deeply personal issue for me. In 2009, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer – and she did not have health insurance. She had let it lapse to pay other bills. So at the same moment that my family was desperately trying to get her emergency surgery and the care she needed, we were filling out the paperwork for her to declare bankruptcy. That desperate feeling of figuring out how to pay for the care and prescriptions one needs to live is that same desperate feeling that is being addressed with the IRA,” said Congresswoman Slotkin. “For the millions of people getting their healthcare from the ACA marketplace, this bill protects access to healthcare by keeping premiums low, and caps spending at 8.5 % of your income. And critically, after years of pushing, this finally allows Medicare to directly negotiate on drug prices with pharmaceutical companies – driving down costs and breaking the big pharma’s stranglehold on Congress.”


“Individuals should be able to afford medications to treat and prevent the spread of diseases such as Hepatitis C or HIV and have access to vaccines, regardless of the cost,” said Linda Vail, Ingham County Health Officer. “Lowering the cost of prescription drugs and removing the cost barrier to vaccines keeps everyone in our community safe.”


“The price of my asthma and osteoporosis medications have skyrocketed these past couple of years. I am so glad Senator Stabenow and Congresswoman Slotkin took swift action to lower these costs by passing the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Gloria Kovnot, Tri-County Office on Aging Advisory Council Representative.


“The cost of medication continues to rise and rise in our country. Thank you, Senator Stabenow and Congresswoman Slotkin, for standing up for the millions of Americans who rely on lifesaving prescription drugs,” said Fonda Brewer, Eaton County Resident.


To learn more about the Inflation Reduction Act, click here.