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AARP Illinois Key Vote News Alert

Thursday, December 17, 2009 General News J E 4
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AARP Illinois Disappointed By Senate Vote Against Lower Prescription Drug Prices

CHICAGO, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday night rejected an amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would help make prescription drugs more affordable by allowing for the safe and legal importation of lower priced drugs from abroad. The bipartisan amendment, endorsed by AARP and sponsored by Senators Dorgan, Snowe, McCain, Grassley and Stabenow, would have improved competition and helped to bring down the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.

The Senate also rejected a second prescription drug importation amendment sponsored by Sen. Lautenberg, which would have created an unnecessary roadblock for prescription drug importation. In a move designed to block importation, the amendment prohibited importation of prescription drugs unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services can certify that it is safe to do so. Despite the fact that safety provisions are already built into the AARP-endorsed Dorgan-Snowe amendment, this version is designed to create administrative hurdles to effectively prevent importation.

"AARP is deeply disappointed that Senators Burris and Durbin voted for continuing the status quo and against lower prescription drug prices for their constituents," said AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo. "With brand name drug prices rising at alarming rates, we hope they will further review the negative impact on the people of Illinois and reconsider their position."

Making prescription drugs more affordable has long been one of AARP's top priorities. The Dorgan-Snowe-McCain-Grassley-Stabenow importation amendment would have been a first step toward lowering the cost of medications in this country. AARP will continue to fight for this amendment and against the unnecessary roadblocks that could prevent its implementation.

AARP notified the 111th Congress that it was tracking roll call votes on key legislation important to its nearly 40 million members and reporting the outcomes of these votes back to its members and all older Americans.

"When Americans understand the issues and where their lawmakers stand, they can make smart decisions. AARP will be there to give our members, as well as all Americans, the most accurate information we can," Gallo added.

AARP members and all older Americans can see how their representatives voted on health care reform by going to www.aarp.org/governmentwatch. AARP's Government Watch is a one-stop online portal that will be tracking and publicizing every designated key vote on issues facing Americans age 50-plus. A "Key Vote Summary" highlighting votes on these issues will be published at the end of each congressional session.

VOTED YES ON RX IMPORTATION VOTED NO ON RX IMPORTATION AMENDMENT TO LOWER DRUG AMENDMENT TO LOWER DRUG ILLINOIS COSTS COSTS -------- --------------------------- -------------------------- Burris, Roland X Durbin, Richard X

SOURCE AARP Illinois
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