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ICYMI: Rep. Chris Pappas: Putting NH ahead of special interests

In case you missed it, the Union Leader published an op-ed by Congressman Chris Pappas about the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs and his tireless fight to stand up against Big Pharma and lower costs for Granite Staters.

Read the full op-ed here.

Rep. Chris Pappas: Putting NH ahead of special interests

THE PHARMACEUTICAL industry spent $263 million last year alone to keep prescription drug prices high and pad record-breaking profits even further. And what did that buy them? Three lobbyists for every member of Congress, public relations and marketing campaigns to blanket airwaves, and seemingly bottomless pockets to write some politicians in Washington campaign checks to vote their way.

How do Granite Staters compete with that? The simple fact is, they can’t. And that’s why it is vital for New Hampshire families to have a voice in Washington who stands up to the powerful, entrenched special interests and fights to lower the cost of life saving medications.

After years of promises from Washington, we finally got it done. I was proud to cast my vote for legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate with the big drug companies for lower prices, limit out-of-pocket costs for those on Medicare at $2,000 per year, and cap the cost of insulin for those on Medicare at $35 per month.

Americans pay two to three times more for their prescription drugs than people in other wealthy countries. But it’s not because we use more drugs than any other country. We pay more because we’re charged more by the big pharmaceutical companies. And because of that, nearly 25% of Americans have difficulty affording the prescriptions they need to live healthy lives.

These numbers don’t lie and tell a powerful story, but it is the stories I hear from Granite Staters every single day that show just how important this is. I’ve heard from a mother and daughter who share a chronic condition and split one prescription between them because they cannot afford two. I’ve heard from a couple that keeps delaying retirement because their drugs will be unaffordable on Medicare. If you’re lucky enough to afford your prescriptions, you undoubtedly have friends and family that you have watched struggle for too long.

In addition to prescription drugs, this bill will help Granite Staters save money and lower costs in other aspects of their daily lives. It will make health care more accessible and affordable by extending the enhanced premium tax credits passed under the American Rescue Plan. These tax credits have already helped 10,000 Granite Staters get health insurance and saved them $800 per year. The legislation also helps put our fiscal house in order by reducing the deficit without raising taxes on small businesses or anyone making under $400,000.

While lowering the cost of prescription drugs seems like common sense to many, Republicans have stood in lockstep with Big Pharma and opposed this legislation. They are content to let New Hampshire families and seniors put their health at risk or pay more for their prescription drugs because it will help the corporate special interests that support their campaigns make even more money.

Granite Staters have a choice in this election. We can elect a representative who serves the special interests or one who serves the people’s interests. I don’t take a dime of corporate PAC money because I represent the people of New Hampshire, not wealthy corporations. And I’ll never be content with Granite Staters having to struggle to afford medication, gas, or groceries while corporations cash in and shareholders profit. As long as I have this job, I’ll keep up the fight against drug companies and other powerful special interests.


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