Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Votes Bill to Require the US Government to Negotiate Prices for Medicare Prescription Drugs

Washington , D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter led the vote to cut the cost of health care and improve access to medicines by requiring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.

The House passed the bill this afternoon by a vote of 255 to 170. Democrats voted overwhelming for the bill; Republicans voted overwhelming againstit.

Shea-Porter was one of six sponsors of the bill, an honor for a freshman Congressman. She joined John Dingell, chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Charlie Rangel, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, Henry Waxman, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and others.

"The old Medicare bill prevented the government from negotiating for better prices" said Shea-Porter. "This bill will require the government to negotiate on our behalf. It's better for seniors and it's better for taxpayers."

This bill was supported by dozens of organizations, including AARP, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the Medicare Rights Center, Families USA, and the Consumers Union.

Vote totals: http://clerk.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.asp?year=2007&rollnumber=23