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Letter to the House of Representatives supporting negotiation of drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries

January 09, 2007

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we would like to urge your support for the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 (H.R. 4), scheduled for House consideration later this week. We believe this bipartisan legislation is critical to reducing the costs of prescription drugs for America's seniors. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 110th Congress.

Millions of seniors, many of them retired educators and education support professionals living on fixed incomes, face escalating medication costs. Too often, seniors must pay for medication at the expense of food or other necessities. This untenable situation is, in part, due to the inability of the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, leaving individual Medicare beneficiaries with no leverage to secure discount drug prices. 

By requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices, H.R. 4 will allow the Medicare program to take advantage of the market power of 40 million beneficiaries. As a result, America's seniors will be able to purchase essential prescription medications at a fair price.

We urge your support for this important legislation.


Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Policy and Politics