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Mainers Pushing For Federal Law That Would Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass.
Elise Amendola
Associated Press
FILE - In this June 15, 2018, file photo, pharmaceuticals are seen in North Andover, Mass.

Maine health care advocates are joining a national push to demand that Congress pass legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs.

Bath resident Sarah Luciana says, as a Type 1 diabetic, she’s at times been forced to ration her insulin.

“I remember walking up the stairs to my house after work, gasping for breath wondering if I was going to die," she says.

Luciana, politicians, and organizers associated with the healthcare initiative Protect our Care are urging the U.S. House to pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act initially passed in the Senate in 2019.

The legislation would allow for Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

Other supporters of the legislation include Senate President Troy Jackson, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Maine.

Jackson says it’s Congress' responsibility to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for Mainers and all Americans — in part because elected lawmakers have good healthcare.

“It’s even harder now to look people in the face and not be embarrassed by the fact that I have healthcare that allows me to get my prescriptions at a reasonable cost when they don’t," he says.