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Washington D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered a speech today on the House floor on H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act. It’s the Republicans’ solution to lowering prescription drug prices without sacrificing new cures. It is also a fully bipartisan bill that has the greatest potential of becoming law.

Remarks as prepared are below.

“There is an urgent need to address the soaring costs of prescription drugs that burden too many American families. It is well past time that we offer a practical solution that actually lowers costs while ensuring new cures can reach Americans fighting disease and illness.

“That is why Republicans introduced the Lower Costs, More Cures Act. I urge all my colleagues to support it.

“This bill was written with a rule in mind: each policy must be bipartisan. I know that in this town and in this climate that is not achieved often, but for an issue as crucial as lowering the costs of prescription drugs for Americans, partisanship should be set aside.

“By drawing on the best ideas, H.R. 19 makes crucial reforms that will lower out-of-pocket costs for Americans at the drugstore counter.

  • For seniors, it makes medication more affordable by capping their out-of-pocket costs.
  • It increases the availability of generic and biosimilar drugs by prohibiting drug companies from delaying the start of their exclusivity period.
  • It speeds up the FDA approval process.
  • It provides greater price transparency by requiring insurance companies to make information about drug costs available in the doctor’s office before a prescription is written.
  • And for diabetics who have high-deductable plans, it allows insurance companies to cover the cost of insulin before meeting the plan’s deductible.

“While Republicans offer practical solutions, Democrats are catering to their progressive base by opening the door to a government takeover of our prescription drug market. Speaker Pelosi’s partisan plan, H.R. 3, would make our broken system worse by placing more barriers between Americans and their medication, including by reducing the number of new drugs in the market instead of helping them reach patients.

“According to estimates from the Council of Economic Advisors, the Speaker’s radical proposal could kill upwards of 100 new drugs over the next decade. I repeat: 100 new drugs over the next decade. That’s a third of the total number of new drugs expected to enter the market during that time.

“Moreover, the Council estimates that H.R. 3 would reduce Americans’ average life expectancy by about four months — nearly a quarter of the projected gains in life expectancy over the next decade. And it’s not just the Council. CBO reports that fewer drugs would be available because of the provisions in H.R. 3.

“The Democrats’ plan is yet another example of how unnecessary government control harms the very people it claims to help.

“All of us have or know someone with a loved one who fought or is fighting a disease or illness for which no cure has been found. Imagine how demoralizing it would be to cut off hope for a cure. My father died from cancer. I would have given anything for a cure for him.

“The best way to lower costs is not to lose cures. Even the loss of one new cure is one too many.

“Mr. Speaker — Americans want their government to put the best available ideas into action. They deserve solutions, not political posturing filled with empty promises.

“With the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, we have a serious solution that would give Americans greater peace-of-mind on their medical needs. It also has the greatest potential of becoming law this year.

“Congress should pass H.R. 19 without delay.”