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Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much Chairwoman Maloney for your strong leadership, and the leadership of the Oversight Committee, in shining a light on the reality of unaffordable prescription drug prices. Congratulations to you and the Committee and the Committee staff on the drug pricing investigation report that you have - that you are releasing with this call. I just want to say if anybody's hearing it that doesn't know: Oversight.house.gov gives you access to it. And I recommend that everyone read at least the executive summary, which is stunning.
I associate myself with your remarks,
Americans are being charged up to five times as much, or more, what the Big Pharma drug is for the same medicines in other countries. The drug companies keep hiking prices for medicines discovered years, decades ago.
We're all for innovation. We understand that to be an investor in a pharmaceutical company is to be a patient investor, but not to be an exploiter of the user of those drugs. You'll hear from - as you mentioned,
I want to just say,
This, I really - rather than repeating everything you said, associate myself with your remarks most enthusiastically,
And again, with the savings from the lower drug prices, we can invest in transformational improvements in Americans health care, particularly addressing some of the benefits for Medicare.
We have an historic opportunity to do so as we craft the reconciliation bill. We'll see how we proceed there. I'm very pleased with the principles put forth by
We have been working on this for decades. In the election of 2006, in our Six For '06 agenda that we put forth, one of the six - there were six bills that we would pass if we - in the first 100 hours if we won the House. We did. And we passed it in the first 100 hours. It did it all five - five of the six became law. Only one did not, enabling Secretaries to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. That he could not get the 60 votes in the
So, this has been a long-standing fight we've been engaged in. And we see today as an opportunity in the Build Back Better For The People agenda. Lowering health care costs by reducing the price of prescription drugs makes a big difference in the lives of America's working families.
Now, it is my honor to introduce
Thank you, Lynn, for being with us.
And now it's my pleasure and privilege to yield to you.
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Moderator. First question comes from
Q: Thank you so much. Question for Speaker Pelosi or Chair Maloney. Can - at this point, can you guarantee that H.R. 3 will be part of a reconciliation package later this year? And has Leadership reached out to the moderate
Speaker Pelosi. If I may, on the reconciliation, we're not making any - we're not negotiating the reconciliation package on this call. It is something that we have been advocating for for a long time. And we see that as an opportunity. We're always in touch with our Members, because we are always building consensus within our Caucus on this subject. But I can tell you generationally, and every
Chair Maloney. I'd just like to add that it is a priority, I would say, just from the Caucus. I'd say all of our Caucus says that the American people need systemic reforms like H.R. 3 to alleviate the financial burden of lifesaving prescription drugs, which we heard so dramatically from them.
And our report indicates that these reforms do not need to come at the cost of medical innovation. And that is a storyline: a false choice that the pharmaceutical companies are putting out. In stark numbers, it shows that you can do this. And it also showed - and I thought very troubling - that not all research and development is truly innovative. Much of what the companies are spending their money on is figuring out ways to suppress competition and keep their prices high. So, I yield back.
Moderator. Thank you. Next question comes from
Q: Hi, thank you. I wanted to ask Speaker Pelosi - you mentioned
Speaker Pelosi. Well, let me just say that what we want to do, our goal that we all share, is to lower the cost of prescription drugs for the American people. In order to do that, it is essential that we have the power to negotiate resting in the hands of the Secretary of HHS. I said something else earlier - HHS. In order to get the benefit of that lower drug prices, the savings that comes from that will also enable us to expand benefits. And that is something that is of great interest to all Members - House and Senate Democratic Members. So, if we - if many people are advocating for expanding benefits in order to cover the cost, we need to negotiate for lower prices.
So, it is - if you look at our bill and their principles, we can find a place to have common ground. We are in conversation with
Chair Maloney. I'd just like to add that one of the findings from the Committee's investigation is that the drug companies actively and intentionally target the
Speaker Pelosi. If I may add on the subject of innovation: I have been a strong advocate for my many years in the
Moderator. Thank you. Next question comes from
Q: I thank you for taking the question. And I wanted to ask Speaker Pelosi if she could give us an overview of how this reconciliation package is going to proceed? Do you have a number, particularly for the health care on the House side? And is it your expectation that the
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I'm happy to answer your question, but first, I did want to yield to our guests to see if they had some comments on the questions they've heard so far.
Lynn, did you have any observation you'd like to make as to what it means to a consumer of this - of these prescription drugs for whom it is almost prohibitive? And, and Frederick any comments from the standpoint of
You know, we hear stories. We have a story bank. We hear from people all the time about the fact that, for example, they are foregoing buying food - I testified about this a few months ago - so they could afford their medication. We've caught people who had to move back in with their parents, as you know, nearing the age of Medicare and have - basically forego everything in their life except for paying for their medications. And as, as you just heard, there's a lot of schemes out there to try and hide the actual price of costs from consumers.
But the end the day what we know when you look at the data is that prices have been going up astronomically. Consolidation in financial industry is rampant. It's also rampant in the generics industry. They're hammering away at just raising prices on the backs of all of us families. And of course, as we heard from
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Frederick. Thank you, Lynn.
Ricardo, back to your question. We're in the process of having those conversations. We are awaiting the budget number from the
Based on timetable, again, we would want to get this done as soon as possible so that the American people can enjoy the benefits of it. We want to do it, though, in a way that Builds Back Better, and I have said that - excuse me. I had said that I really cannot take up the reconciliations until we see the infrastructure and rec - I cannot take up the infrastructure until we see infrastructure and reconciliation addressed by the, by the
So, as we make those decisions, you'll be aware of it, but I'm not prepared - not prepared to make that announcement today, because those decisions are yet to be made. It depends on how quickly we can go with the
Moderator. Thank you. And our last question comes from
Q: Actually the AP asked my question, but I will - I will ask the bipartisan infrastructure deal. We haven't seen texts of it yet. Have you seen texts, Speaker Pelosi, or do you understand if they're going to be changing it, and why - why haven't we really seen a detailed outline of those pay-fors yet? Thank you.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I think that - that's a question better addressed to the
To pay for it, as you know, the President has said that we would not be taxing anyone who makes under
But so far, we're okay with what we're hearing, and again, when we move on to reconciliation to Build Back Better, we have to include - this is very important for us to include, and that's the debate that we will be engaged, to include elements of H.R. 3 or some combination that we can come to agreement - agreement on taking us back to where we are.
I want to salute Congresswoman,
I always say the
So, thank you. Thank you,