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Inflation Reduction Act will lower prescription drug prices for 1.4 million people in WA, says Sen. Murray

Aug 25, 2022, 3:35 PM

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FILE - Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a news conference the vote to codify Roe v. Wade, in this May 5, 2022 file photo on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murray is one of the U.S. Senate's most powerful members and seeking a sixth term. She is being challenged by Tiffany Smiley, a Republican from Pasco, Wash. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

On Tuesday, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which will provide funds for reducing prescription drug costs, fighting climate change, and cutting the federal deficit. Senator Patty Murray, a key Biden ally and chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, says the bill will help save 1.4 million Washingtonians on their prescription drugs.

At an event with Murray and Washington District 8 congresswoman Dr. Kim Schrier, community advocates and seniors met to celebrate the historic victory and discuss the future of lower drug prescription prices.

“Skyrocketing drug costs have been hard on families across Washington and across the country,” Senator Murray said at the event. “Too many people have been facing impossible choices because of skyrocketing drug costs, like skipping meals or skipping their medication, just to make ends meet — all while drug companies are jacking up prices and raking in massive profits.”

The bill will limit insulin payments to $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries starting in 2023. The bill will also cap all out-of-pocket drug costs to about $4,000 annually in 2024, then cap further costs at $2,000 in 2025. It also extends benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidy for health insurance costs, which were scheduled to end this fall, for three years at the cost of approximately $64 billion.

“I’m a relatively healthy senior but need expensive prescription drugs to treat my dry eye condition,” said Jackie Boschok, President of the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans. “I look forward to being one of the more than 29,000 Medicare Part D enrollees in Washington State alone, who experienced out-of-pocket prescription drug costs over $2,000 in 2021 that will now have those costs capped at $2,000 per year.”

Other benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act, Murray says, include help with health care costs by extending health care tax credits from last year’s COVID relief bill.

She says it will help reduce greenhouse emissions by offering tax breaks and rebates on electric vehicles, rooftop solar, and more.

Beginning in 2024, income limits to qualify for Medicare’s Low Income Subsidy will increase from 135 percent to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, expanding access for low-income beneficiaries.

Murray nodded to other federal initiatives to improve health care, including a Food and Drug Administration reform package. The bill would reauthorize user-fee programs for prescription and generic drugs, medical devices, and other products, as well as improve oversight of these products.

“We’ve made the first huge step, and it’s going to make a real difference,” Murray said. “There is more work to do.”

Patty Murray, Tiffany Smiley advance to US Senate general election

Murray is currently running for reelection against Republican candidate Tiffany Smiley, with the two of them facing off in the November general election.

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Inflation Reduction Act will lower prescription drug prices for 1.4 million people in WA, says Sen. Murray