Press Release

Statement of AFT President Randi Weingarten on Passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3)

For Release:


Elena Temple

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3):

“In the richest nation in the world, too many people are forced to choose between their health needs and making a mortgage or student loan payment or buying food. Our members—from the bus driver living paycheck to paycheck, to the nurse whose patients can live or die based on their access to prescription drugs, to the retired teacher on a fixed income—understand the need for life-saving drugs and are demanding that those in power in Washington, D.C., take action to lower drug prices. Indeed, AFT members say this is one of the most pressing problems in America.

“Speaker Pelosi has taken this on, over the lobbying clout of Big Pharma, with H.R. 3 to provide meaningful financial relief to families across the nation. By allowing for drug-cost negotiations and placing a cap on out-of-pocket Medicare expenses, this crucial bill will lower prescription drug costs while also making historic investments in Medicare and public health.

“President Trump campaigned on the promise of lowering these escalating costs, but he’s done nothing to deliver. Our 1.7 million healthcare professionals, educators and public employees urge the Senate to pass this legislation, and for President Trump to sign it, so we can finally make affordable healthcare a right for all, not a luxury for the privileged few who can afford it.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.