WATCH: Sen. Kelly and AARP Arizona Discuss How Arizonans will Benefit From Passage of His Plan to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly and AARP Arizona State Director Dana Kennedy hosted a roundtable conversation with Arizona seniors highlighting how Arizonans will benefit from the Kelly-negotiated plan to lower prescription drug costs in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 signed into law yesterday.
“Today we’re back in Phoenix with some good news. Our plan to lower prescription drug prices was signed into law by the President yesterday. That’s great news. After decades of politicians from both parties promising that they would get this done, we got this across the finish line for Arizonans and the American people who have been waiting way too long,” said Senator Kelly during today’s roundtable. “And certainly we could not have gotten this done without the dedication and hard work of the AARP, an organization that has done so much for seniors across our country,” continued Kelly.
During the roundtable conversation, Kelly shared a story from an Arizona senior, Lisa Coe, who pays $650 for her insulin, one of 12 medications she needs to take. Kelly shared how Lisa has to ration insulin because of the high cost but because of Kelly’s plan, which is now law, her insulin cost will be capped at $35 a month. Kelly also heard from Arizona seniors who shared powerful stories about how his plan will help cut costs for their medication. Judy Wilson, a retiree, living with multiple sclerosis (MS) shared how she previously made a decision with her doctor to go off her medications due to costs. Kelly also heard from Kathy Saulsberry, a mother of three who was displaced from her home due to the high cost of her prescription drugs.
“My medication for MS was so expensive that I was paying over $1,000 a month and that caused me not to have a home,” said Kathy Saulsberry who has been on Medicare since 2011. “I take eight medications a day. I am so glad that this bill has been passed. This is going to help me, it’s going to help people that I know, friends of mine who are disabled or are seniors. And so I thank you that you have done this for us. And it’s for everyone because even if you are not a senior yet, we hope one day you will be and this is going to be something that you are going to have to deal with,” Saulsberry continued.
Earlier this year, Kelly chaired a special Senate hearing in Phoenix where he discussed his plan to lower prescription drug costs with Arizona experts, advocates, and patients impacted by rising prescription drug prices. Kelly worked with colleagues to negotiate this plan last year. Thanks to his leadership, for the first time in history, the Inflation Reduction Act will:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate the price of the most expensive drugs,
- Cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month in Medicare Part D,
- Cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D recipients at no more than $2,000 a year,
- And hold drug companies accountable when they increase drug prices on Medicare beneficiaries faster than the rate of inflation.