tv Speaker Pelosi News Conference CSPAN September 20, 2019 5:58am-6:36am EDT
>> thank you for your very kind introduction. [laughter] [laughter] thank you for your leadership and speaker pelosi, thank you for your leadership on this issue and the labor committee and one of the important aspects of this is what the plan does for employer-based health care plans spending $84 billion every year hr three addresses working families with employer-sponsored plans to access the same savings that would be negotiated for
medicare. and to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for those to invest to create new jobs of economic growth across the country. for the taxpayers and the workers and the economy thank you to the leaders to address skyrocketing drug prices. so now i will yield the floor to the distinguished chair of the committee commerce chairman. >> thank you bobby. i've got an introduction. [laughter] let me just say i'm excited today what we are doing can help the average american. thank you to nancy in particular because of those looking to see what we can do
to help people in their daily lives this is something that does that. then you mentioned how drug prices are out of control. that is true. i want to stress the status quo is unacceptable. something needs to be done. >> basically now they charge whatever they want and that has generic competition in and they basically do what they want and we have a monopoly. that most developed countries actually have their government negotiating prices on behalf of their constituents and in many times it is a lot less from others in the world. so we subsidize the other countries which is wrong. we need to give the authority to the government department
of hhs to negotiate prices specifically they are forbidden to do that when medicare part d was created and now we will reverse that to put in place a mechanism to achieve real price reduction. so first of all secretary of hhs has to identify the most expensive drugs for which there is no generic competition, then on an annual basis, negotiate for at least 25. and also insulin which is not part of the 25 will also be negotiated. and that negotiation has to prioritize the greatest savings for taxpayers. the top 25 right now have 23 percent of the spending on prescription drugs of this makes a difference.
so we say the maximum price is one.2 times of the market price which is the price if you average some of these other countries that negotiate. this means real savings to the average american. i just want to give a couple of examples the insulin drug cost four times more in the us and canada the united kingdom and germany and australia. one drug to control asthma cost three times more here than canada and macular degeneration drug is seven times more here than in france. we want to level the playing field so the american people have a shot at having lower prices to make a difference.
we promise this as part of the deal that is better deal and energy and commerce needs to begin the process and now we want to introduce that all three of us are working together to work with a speaker with leadership and we can find we are very much on board to make sure this is a united front. >> this is where fact and policy and opinion are wet and this is going on for a long period of time in america we have heard time and again from our constituents that they are treated unfairly high prescription drug cost and that is a fact. we hear this all the time from senior citizens but other consumers as well that they
have to budget for these out-of-pocket costs. so today we are proposing negotiations that also another important consideration is that we build in compliance we build in escalator clauses so there is room for the conversation to be pursued based on that proposal if the companies can perform to legislative intent and they would not be fearful of compliance and then to rely heavily for the first time these ought to be negotiated . . .
was very pathetic to the audit arguments we were making. the idea here is the opinion plays out but you need substantive legislation to make sure that the intent of what we will do with this proposal benefits the american consumer. i think based upon the opportunity their markups will clarify these positions. it's a -- i think helpful for the national conversation. we did indicate we would tackle this issue and that's what or where is here today intends to do. >> thank you very much. now we want to yield to not only a member of our leadership but a member of the energy and commerce committee, as well. >> thank you, madam speaker and the leadership for bringing us together yet again.
here we are months into the new congress after we've had an incredible agenda laid out by speaker pelosi one supported by the american people, hr three delivers on another commitment made by so many of our colleagues as they earned the trust and support of voters all across country to lower prescription drug prices. that's what this bill will do. we are finally getting to date where we will have medicare. taking those savings and applying them so we can expand coverage for seniors all across america and to get additional care and additional support while lowering the cost for people across the country as i have conversations around the kitchen table about what matters most. i'm proud to be here today as a reminder of the work we did in 2018. we flipped some receipts across country and exceeded expectations on the number of
seats we would pick up. the american people want to bring about the positive change including lowering prescription drug christ prices. that's what we have enforced year to get to work to deliver this and i think the speaker for bringing this to the stand. >> and keyport delivering that message for the people agenda by lowering prescription drugs. people say how can healthcare and that issue or some other part of the 2018 discussion. it is because it's what matters to the american people. we had 10000 events there were, i should not say we had but there were 10000 events across the country with people telling their stories. also protecting the benefit of pre-existing condition benefit which is legislation we have already sent over to mitch mcconnell. here we are with this legislation just to review it
and the ban. imagine there's a ban to negotiate for lower drug prices for medicare but as has been indicated by his distinguished chairman and members of the leadership that will apply to all. make lower-priced drug prices available to all americans. it stop drug companies from up enough americans of charging other countries less for the drugs but let me go into that for a moment because it's been alluded to by our speaker. the countries that someone says we should do the meeting rather than the average but that's up for the committee to destroy. the uk, france, australia and germany are the mean or average of the cost there but sometimes it's been indicated it takes one or it might be 321 but depending on that we have a formulation that's one point to times what
that mean or average is. this is a big problem and cost for the u.s. $2000 cap and for some there is no cap and our bill is better in that respect. in any other specs with the forward to working in a bipartisan bicameral way on this. there will be an enormous savings and waiting for the cbo report to come springing from this in our jurisdiction on how those allocations will be fit. that money will be used whether hearing visuals, dental et cetera whether it's about getting more resources to the secretary's office so more drugs can be negotiated or saying 25 of the floor and would like to be the highest number possible
on the highest cost rather to make the big difference in those drugs without competition. it is transformative so it's a good day and we think that the choices that were made by the members of the committee and i commend chairman and members and their staff for the work they have done. my staff as well to try to get the most effective way to get the job done and we do think there could be a strong bipartisan support for this legislation. we will take any questions on the subject. >> do you want and expect white house to buy in on this plan and how closely do you consult with them? >> yes, we do hope to have white house buy in because that seems to be the route to getting any votes in the united state senate and certainly we want a strong bipartisan vote if we can in the house and senate.
we would hope that they would support this and other suggestions with the committee process. >> [inaudible] >> at the president's state of the union address he aggressively raised this question in front of the american people and time again we've been talking to members of the administration seem intent on pursuing the same legitimate path that we are currently on. >> my conversations with the president there were two subjects on which we think we can have of the three items on our agenda lower the cost of prescription drugs by lowering the healthcare by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, bigger paychecks by building a structure america and cleaner government. one of the first two i think we
can have those corporations not the third but on building infrastructure that's another area where we can find common ground so my conversations with the presidents have been about making this a priority and i believe he considers it a good one. i believe we can work together. >> [inaudible] >> excuse me, that is not on the subject. talking about prescription dru drugs. >> he said it will hold up progress. >> instead in fact the source of hope to the american people that if you reduce the role of big dark money in politics will be able to get gun violence protection bills passed and climate action and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. on the subject -- >> anything commerce committee republicans have criticized his plan saying they called for bipartisan and this is not one of them but radical and socialist ideas. how do you respond to that?
>> unfortunately every time we do something that is a social program that would help the american people somehow social becomes socialist and i'm not sure i understand that. the president and most republicans say they want to lower the cost of prescription drugs and they may disagree on how we do it but as in the speaker said we go through the committee process and we have to convince them this is the way to do it. i'm not going to get into the ideology but i do think that we can get republican support and of course, as the speaker said the president is very much the key as he indicates support or suggest it's a good idea that should be pursued that hopefully we can get the energy and commerce to go along. >> one thing is it helps frame an argument so recall when medicare part d was offered a key member on the other side in
the run-up said negotiating drug prices through medicare was on american. anybody who follows the forces of the marketplace, competition and negotiation gives us better products at lower cost. >> progressive caucus doesn't like the floor 25 drugs but want more than 25 drugs and are you open -- >> yes, this is more about the capacity to produce a result. to indicate the possible and doable. as i said earlier if there are more sources that the secretary that i can do more if i had more resources than we should make that available but that's an open point and we've had that discussion. first i thought 25 was all they would do at least 250 and could
be many more depending on innovation bringing to the market place with new drugs may comment this is an ongoing process but i will say that the american people need this. we want to get a result and will work together to get the best possible, strongest possible result for them. people also believe what we do at the national institute of health the taxpayer dollars to have basic biomedical research is the foundation for the private sector research goes forward and it's what happens at the nih and the grants they give out extramural grants into universities and other entities throughout the country. that is taxpayer funded, publicly funded and everyone in america should have access to the benefits of that research.
i want the biggest number we can possibly get but i don't want to promise something that we want to have a deliverable within the next year so again, the committee will decide how to use the additional funding and if that is the answer to increase the absorbed capacity of the secretary's office to do those but thank you for your question. on the subject. >> another point where they want to keep something in the bill that addresses drugs coming on market but something in this bill to make sure drugs to come to market? >> if there is no international price which is often the case with the new drugs then we say that within the negotiation the secretary shall ensure that he or she receives at least a 15% discount on the price of the drug when negotiating. there is anticipation. keep in mind that whether or not
some new drugs it comes to market is largely to be in that 25 were spending is probably not likely but if it is we will at least have the requirement of 15% reduction. >> on 15% that's 15% lower [inaudible] >> will come i've heard all kinds of people say how the drug companies will find a way to get around this and someone suggested they will just raise prices in the six countries in the international price but we are doing our best to make this so that it will save money and i'm sure someone will try to figure out a way around but we will just have to deal with that but right now --
>> one thing i'd like to address this with the speaker we unanimously passed the star act of the ways and means committee. we like to include the star act and that was devoted to transparency. >> there's another bill in the energy committee that is about transparency. this is going on to be the basis for discussion but there will be many thoughts that enter into it that are very positive and transparency is essential issue but we want the versions that purge there to be freeing from the members of the committee who have been working on these bills for a long time. i would also like to say that the point you make is we cannot have the noncompliant be the
cost of doing business. it has to be an incentive not to go down that path and therefore in relationship to what's happening overseas if it's five times will we pay or two times what we pay the non- compliance penalty if they do not go down is something that would be very painful to the drug companies not coming through. understand. >> it's severe. >> we didn't but there's a strong enforcement mechanism in the legislation. >> it's like 55% of the gross sales that they negotiate and depending on how long they can refuse -- >> that's pretty severe. >> goes up to the '90s. again, this is an introduction and so much more will be added in the committee process and in the public review of it but we are very excited about it and happy that we can get some help to people that help is on the weight when it comes to
addressing the meeting the needs of their families and the family health family's financial health and well-being. yes, ma'am. >> you mentioned transparency what about the idea of reducing the time before biologic can have competition lower than 12 years? is that part of this conversation? >> it is but it's part of the conversation or having on the us-mexico view and u.s. mca. >> what about tpp? smack that conversation is taking place right now the third estate were making headway on it. >> what is your timetable for markups and going to the floor. would you engage with the white house trying to seek a deal before go to the floor and if there's no deal after a certain time to go to the floor anyway? >> in a conversation i had with senator grassley about this he seems intent on proceeding with
parallel legislation and pointed out that in his legislation that he had somebody can help but a lot of democratic help and that would be a base set up for all of us but it certainly any ideas they would have the secretary passing on those ideas would be helpful to the conversation but we like to start the markup in october. >> will have a hearing in subcommittee next monday so we want to do this as quickly as possible. >> chairman bobby scott to the work they've done in experience and knowledge and the knowledge that they always bring to make the decisions that will make the biggest difference and we don't call it a deal but hopefully we can come to some agreement about what is best for the american people. i'm optimistic and i see everything as an opportunity for sad as it is in terms of the cost of prescription cards and
the bright light that would be shown on this is important including the transparency provisions that will be in the bill and we have a couple different approaches to it but this is again a new day when it comes to the door cost. >> republicans particularly have [inaudible] >> absolutely, positively not. our agenda was a new direction for america. five of the bills became the law of the land and one did not.
enabling secretary to negotiate for lower prices. we only could've done it then. that is the central point. let me repeat what you said earlier. >> that was it. you can go back and reset it as a subcommittee chair and he said that negotiating drug across the biggest procedure for the other on audience to set the price with on their own he said that in that instance it would be un-american to negotiate drug costs and that runs against the orthodoxy and i can't imagine those words coming out of his mouth. [laughter] >> thank you all very much. >> madam speaker -- >> me. you are welcome to stay but we have time for three questions quickly because --
>> [inaudible] >> i trust the judgment of our committee chair emma adam shifts, and he's following this very closely with an expert i on what what there are and protections there are for whistleblowers and where it is across the line of the conversation the president may have had or may make that the public should be aware of. >> they're having meetings as we speak. >> corey lewandowski came before the committee and will that hearing was a distraction from the democratic agenda like lowering drug pricing? >> i think what we are doing -- we are legislating from investigating and litigating and i trust the work of the committee. >> was that hearing an investigation?
>> i answer that. i trust the committee in the past they are on. >> , what. [inaudible conversations] >> we are talking gun safety now but let me just say senator mcconnell says that about every subject, whether were talking about the cr to file so that we can take it up today and we understand the senate will accept the cr that we send over there whether it's negotiating what comes next in terms of appropriations to continue to keep government open and the leader will just say i will i'm
doing for the president wants. that is to abdicate your role as a leader in article 11th branch of government. yes, we all want to together to have the most sustainability for what we do in the president's signature is an important part of that but the state we won't even make a suggestion that we will not represent where we are representative and so are the senators and the point to deal with 90% of the american people support hrh background checks, responsible background checks legislation. the president says he wants to do it and let's hope he does. we've heard some stats that they're working on it and he will call us when they're ready but we have not heard directly from the president. >> obviously -- >> you want me to tell you what goes on with the president's mind? >> i did that.
we characterized it into the conversation and i told the president as always i pray for him. i pray for him and for the safety and the safety of his family and i pray that he will open his heart to the safety of america's families as well by giving his approval on hr eight which is supported by 90% of the american people, democrats and republicans, independents, gunowners, nra members, veterans and collectors, hunters and the rest. i don't know told the president up on it. i know he's busy and we hope to hear from him soon but i will say to the people i work with and the grassroots movement is not just about funds but about
the grim reaper said he will stop all legislation that goes over there so if you care about gun safety and saving the lives of their children call mitch mcconnell. if you hear about raising the minimum wage, if you care for equal pay call mitch mcconnell and if you called out that neutrality call mitch mcconnell. call that climate action now if you call about violence against women call mitch mcconnell. the list goes on and on. he's holding up so much legislation that were our top ten priorities which had bipartisan support in the public and went looking for a fight but for a results and we sent over many other pieces of legislation that pertained to lowering the cost of healthcare in our country, call mitch mcconnell. the list goes on and on. this is not even obstruction but it's just abandonment of the responsibility as a leader in
the senate of the united states. >> on hr the attorney general floated a proposal in senate yesterday that did not include hr eight but included the mansion to meet bill and i would not cover private sales. i'm wondering if that is the way the president and the senate go with that be amenable to you in the house. >> we are for hr eight is very carefully constructed legislation that will save lives. one of the recent mass murders was by someone ready purchase and that means i can't pass a test and you can and you buy the gun and i buy it from you and that is a dangerous dynamic to have so were here for hr eight. the imagination did not embrace what was said in the senate and disassociated themselves. >> but unlikely to go beyond it hr eight to support. >> public sentiment. that may weigh in but we must make progress on this and i told