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Outrage: Americans pay the highest price for drugs and seniors want change




“Seniors Would Cross Party Lines to Vote for Candidates Who Support Medicare Drug Price Negotiation”


… have to break the ties of Big Pharma


One of the areas in which Joe Biden and Democrats have not made an imprint yet is in the cost of pharmaceuticals. The price of drugs is still one of the major problems for the older population.


Now, a new poll reveals that this could be a major issue in the 2022 midterm elections. A poll from the Alliance for Retired Americans noted that 87 percent of voters over the age of 65 are in favor of allowing Medicare to negotiate better drug prices.


This has major implications for both parties in the 2022 elections because Americans now pay the highest prices of anyone in the world for prescription drugs.


In fact, many Americans now say that they would vote for the other party if that party did something about drug prices.

Results of poll


The results of the poll are overwhelming,


More than 70 percent of voters over age 65 say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who favors allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug corporations to lower prescription drug prices, including strong majorities across party lines, according to a new poll released today by the Alliance for Retired Americans.


An 87% majority of voters over age 65 favor allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, including 48% who are strongly in favor. Among Democratic seniors, 89% are in favor, as are 87% of Republican seniors and 81% of independent seniors. Voters over the age of 65 in rural areas (84%) favor the proposal with strong intensity as well. The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners.


“The findings have major implications for both Democrats and Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and they want lawmakers to take action now to lower the amount they pay at the pharmacy counter.

This poll confirms that high drug prices are a top-of-mind issue for seniors when making voting decisions.”


Poll: Seniors Would Cross Party Lines to Vote for Candidates Who Support Medicare Drug Price Negotiation,” Alliance for Retired Americans, August 3, 2021


Brutal news for both parties

This is something that both parties should be concerned about right now — but apparently are not.


“The 2022 midterm electorate will have an outsized senior vote. This poll highlights a risk and an opportunity for elected officials and candidates,” Fiesta continued. “Even in today’s polarized political environment, a significant percentage of senior voters of both parties would cross party lines over this issue.”


The poll found:


If a Democratic candidate favored allowing Medicare to negotiate with prescription drug corporations to lower prescription drug prices, 51% of seniors would be more likely to vote for them, including 78% of Democrats, 35% of independents, and even 31% of Republicans. Half of Republicans (51%) say it would make no difference in their vote, and 9% say they are unsure.

  • Further, if a Democratic candidate opposed allowing Medicare to negotiate with prescription drug corporations to lower prescription drug prices, 55 percent of seniors would be less likely to vote for them, including a 60 percent majority of Democratic seniors, 53 percent of Republican seniors, and 49 percent of independent seniors.


Poll: Seniors Would Cross Party Lines to Vote for Candidates Who Support Medicare Drug Price Negotiation,” Alliance for Retired Americans, August 3, 2021

Large number approve of Medicare negotiation

The truth is that huge numbers are involved here, and those over 65 are the one who are doing the voting,


Overwhelming majorities of voters across party lines support Medicare drug price negotiation.


The survey came as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—chair of the Senate Budget Committee—and other progressive lawmakers are pushing to include a Medicare drug-pricing provision in an emerging multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package. Senate Democratic leaders are reportedly aiming to include the provision—as well as an expansion of Medicare's benefits—in the legislation, but the details of the bill have yet to be finalized.


"It is time to end the international disgrace of Americans paying the highest prices in the world, by far, for prescription drugs," Sanders said Friday at a rally marking Medicare's 56th birthday.


Despite its popularity, the proposal is likely to run up against some opposition from Big Pharma-backed Democrats in the House. In a letter (pdf) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in May, a group of Democrats led by Reps. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) expressed opposition to H.R. 3, legislation that would empower Medicare to directly negotiate prices for a limited number of prescription drugs.


Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, August 3, 2021


Democrats can hold onto the House and Senate if certain things happen. The economy must remain strong, Covid must fall off next year, and they have have to demonstrate that they are working for the common people — like seniors.



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