Labor Voices: Keep prescription costs affordable

For far too long, America has been in crisis mode when it comes to prescription drug costs. Families and individuals have had to decide between buying groceries or paying the mortgage and purchasing life-saving medicines. The recent passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) by the House of Representatives is a positive step forward out of this crisis, and a promising day for many Americans.

H.R. 3, introduced by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., works to establish a fair price negotiation program, protect the Medicare program from excessive price increases, and establish an out-of-pocket maximum in some plans.

For years, the UAW has been deeply concerned about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs for its members and the people of our communities. Ill health can catastrophically threaten an individual’s ability to earn a living, sending a once productive wage earner into bankruptcy or more, with a single illness. Through collective bargaining, we have long struggled to provide insurance mechanisms to protect against these incredibly high costs of health care and protect our members against uncertain futures.

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