The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lisa Cutler, 202-637-5394 or

Seniors Applaud House Passage of Bold Action to Lower Drug Prices for Millions of Older Americans


Members of the Alliance for Retired Americans celebrated passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the U.S. House of Representatives today, five days after the bill was passed by the U.S. Senate. President Biden has said he will sign the bill.

The bill will help lower prescription drug prices for seniors by:

  • Requiring Medicare to negotiate lower prices for some of the highest priced prescription drugs, using its enormous purchasing power on behalf of seniors and taxpayers;
  • Capping out of pocket costs for insulin at $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries;
  • Making all recommended adult vaccines free for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2023;
  • Prohibiting drug corporations from increasing the price it charges Medicare for a drug by more than the rate of inflation; and
  • Capping out of pocket drug spending at $2,000 per year for Medicare Part D.

"I have witnessed seniors at the supermarket, having to leave food at the cash register so they could make ends meet," said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. "This legislation is a game-changer that will go a long way to help ensure retirees are not put in that terrible position."

"I have been paying up to $480 per month for my insulin," said Maryland/DC Alliance member Pam Parker of Bethesda, Maryland, who needs the drug to treat her diabetes. Ms. Parker previously shared her challenges paying for her medicines at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Capping my insulin cost at $35 per month and my overall annual out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 will allow me to breathe a huge sigh of relief and eliminate a major source of anxiety for millions of seniors."

Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world, and one in four Americans has reported not taking at least one drug as prescribed because they couldn't afford it.

"The Alliance has been fighting to give Medicare the right to negotiate lower prices for more than two decades," added Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. "The action taken by Congress today sends a strong message to seniors that lower drug prices are closer than ever.

"Now that the House, the Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris have voted, our members look forward to President Biden quickly making this legislation the law of the land," said Fiesta. "When he does, we will finally be putting seniors ahead of pharmaceutical corporations to deliver lower drug prices for the American people."

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization with 4.4 million members that advocates for retirement security for all Americans.