WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) released the following statement after voting to pass H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will help lower the cost of prescription drugs and level the playing field for American patients who are paying more for medication than patients in other countries.

“The costs of prescription drugs have been an increasing burden on individuals and families, forcing many to choose between their medications and basic needs such as paying rent or putting food on the table. Today’s passage of H.R. 3 is a necessary and bold step to reduce prescription drug prices, expand access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, and invest in the health of our communities.

“H.R. 3 will give Medicare the power to negotiate directly and transparently with drug companies and ensure those prices are available to plans outside of Medicare. The legislation also sets a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and limits the ability for pharmaceutical companies to drastically raise prices. In addition to dramatically reducing prescription drug prices, H.R. 3 invests drug costs savings into Medicare beneficiaries and the health of our communities. The bill would finally add coverage of dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare and make significant investments in biomedical research, maternal health, the opioid crisis, and Community Health Centers.

“House Democrats continue to fulfill our commitment to work hard for the people and pass legislation that will have a positive impact on the lives of everyday people.