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NRLN discusses Need to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices /Episode 8

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Bill Kadereit, pres



We are committed to keeping you informed about your retiree benefits, pension funds, medical and drug costs and the truth about Medical Advantage Plans. This column features a current topic on these issues. (click here for previous FORUM articles )

Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act Passed

President Biden signed into law on April 23 the S.164, Advancing Education on Biosimilars Act of 2021, which will help increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines.

At the request of the NRLN Legislative Action Planning Committee (LAPC), I sent a letter to House Speaker Pelosi on April 5 requesting that she call for a vote on S.164 which was passed in the Senate on March 3 and sent to the House. I stated in my letter “this is an opportunity to get something done immediately.”

The House passed the bill on April 14 and sent it on April 20 to the President.

The new law will enhance education about biosimilar drug products in an effort to increase competition and lower the cost of biologic medicines which treat chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.

Providing educational materials to patients and healthcare providers will improve confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these FDA-approved biosimilar products. Improved confidence in biosimilars would lead to increased use, which in turn would increase healthcare savings.

Biosimilar medications have no clinically meaningful differences from brand name biological drugs, but they can be just a fraction of the cost. Independent studies have estimated that biosimilars could save Americans potentially $54 billion in healthcare costs over 10 years.

Thanks to our Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC) for the hours these volunteers spend filtering out and researching all retirement-related bills introduced and send to the LAPC those that the NRLN should consider for support or oppose. Letters we send pay off but most important is that you open and send Action Alerts to your elected representatives. It takes all of us!

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network



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money How much did your U.S. Representatives and Senators take as campaign contributions from the Pharmaceutical and Health Products Industry for their recent election campaigns and the current 2019-20 one? Could this be a reason why bills to reduce the price of prescription drugs are not being passed? Click here to see data that the NRLN has compiled from OpenSecrets.Org, Center for Responsive Politics. All Senators and Representatives are now shown by state and amount for ease of reviewing your state's delegation.

Allow Importation of Drugs from Canada

Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to support passage of H.R. 832 / S. 259, Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2021 which would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set regulations permitting Americans to import safe, lower cost prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies. Click here to access the Action Alert.



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report card NRLN Provides New “Report Card” Feature on Members of Congress

The Final 116th Congress Report Cards have been issued by state delegation. Take a look to see how your's did.

Do your Senators or Representative support bills that help retirees? Check it out here!


amazon smile AmazonSmile Program to Benefit the American Retirees Education Program (AREF)

The NRLN board created the American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN and to enable NRLN to sharpen its focus as an organization lobbying for the passage of federal legislation and regulations that benefit retirees.

For example, the white paper on Protecting Pension Assets which is used to educate members of Congress on the need for legislation to prevent pension plan sponsors from using plan assets for non-pension expenses was funded by AREF.. Access the white paper here.

You can help fund the AREF without costing you anything extra when you make a purchase online from Amazon through its AmazonSmile program. Click here to learn more about AmazonSmile.


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NRLN members are saving big with the Free Health Savings Rx Card℠

The NRLN has arranged to offer you a Health Savings Rx Card™, at NO COST, that offers you and your family savings on prescription drugs, plus vision and hearing services and products.Click here to access the Rx Savings Card℠ website.


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The articles and opinion pieces below are for information and are not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues. The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab.

Fully Vaccinated People Don’t Need Face Masks Indoors, CDC Says
Barron’s ~ May 13, 2021

Pelosi drug price plan threatened by centrist defections
By Alice Miranda Ollstein & Susannah Luthi; Politico ~ May 11, 2021

Medicare cost crunch raises questions in telehealth debate
By Lauren Clason; Roll Call ~ May 12, 2021

What To Do When You Notice Your Aging Parents Are Starting To “Slip”
From Carolyn Rosenblatt; Forbes ~ May 11, 2021

Opinion: Allow Medicare to negotiate on behalf of patients to lower drug prices
By Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) & David Mitchell; The Hill ~ May 12, 2021

The Medicare Plan Finder: Still A Work In Progress
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ May 11, 2021

Medicare requiring nursing homes to report weekly vaccination statistics
By Justine Coleman; The Hill ~ May 11, 2021

The COVID-19 Pandemic Did Not Cause Drastic Changes to Multiemployer Pension Plans, According to Segal Survey
Business Wire, Press Release ~ May 11, 2021

Out-of-Pocket Costs Go Up When Prescription Drug Prices Rise
By Dan Gray; Healthline ~ May 10, 2021

Walmart to acquire telehealth company MeMD as Amazon Care signs first customer
By Heather Landi; FierceHealthcare ~ May 07, 2021

What Will Healthcare Cost You in Retirement? Prepare to Be Shocked
By Maurie Backman; The Motley Fool ~ May 08, 2021

What If You Need To Appeal A Social Security Decision? What’s Important
From John F. Wasik; Forbes ~ May 08, 2021

Opinion: Even Less Incentive For Pharma To Innovate Threatens Global Health & Our Economy
From Rita Numerof; Forbes ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reimagine health care
From Shantanu Nundy &d Susan Blumenthal; The Hill ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: Medicare beneficiaries can't wait for lower drug prices
From Amy Niles & Michael Ward; The Hill ~ May 07, 2021

Manchin Opposes Progressives' Plan to Lower Eligible Age For Medicare
By Jeffrey Rodack; Newsmax ~ May 07, 2021

Opinion: Biden’s tax plan would unravel 40 years of ‘trickle down’ orthodoxy
From Rey Mashayekhi; Fortune ~ May 06, 2021

Gillibrand touts legislation to lower drug costs: This idea 'is deeply bipartisan'
By Olafimihan Oshin; The Hill ~ May 06, 2021

CDC: Seniors falling results in 2.2 million ER visits a year
By Brian P. Dunleavy; United Press nternational ~ May 06, 2021

CDC Says Covid Could Be Under Control By July — But It Comes With A Big ‘If’
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 06, 2021

Telemedicine Is a Tool — Not a Replacement for Your Doctor’s Touch
By Elisabeth Rosenthal; Kaiser Health News ~ May 06, 2021

4 Ways The Secure Act 2.0 Would Change Retirement Planning
From Kristin McKenna; Forbes ~ May 06, 2021

Rising out-of-pocket drug costs linked to increase in brand-name prices
By Brian P. Dunleavy; United Press International ~ May 04, 2021

Opinion: Beware Democrats Serving Tax-Free Lunches, Drinking Kool-Aid
From Larry Bel; Newsmax ~ May 05, 2021

Biden's capital gains tax hike: What it means for your taxes
By Michelle Meyers; CNET ~ May 04, 2021

Could SECURE Act 2.0 Fix The Retirement Crisis?
By Taylor Tepper; Forbes ~ May 05, 202

Herd Immunity Debate Flares As Experts Warn It Will Be Tough To Achieve
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 04, 2021

Masks Stay On For Summer Travelers: Federal Mandate Extended To Sept. 13
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ May 03, 2021

Democrats must find narrow path to curb high medicine prices
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar; The Associated Press ~ May 03, 2021

3 Changes to Social Security You Probably Didn't Know About
By Christy Bieber; The Motley Fool ~ May 03, 2021

Social Security Sees Slowdown in Retiree Rolls Amid Covid Deaths
By Alexandre Tanzi; Bloomberg ~ May 03, 2021

Should you pay off your mortgage in retirement? Experts weigh in on whether to cut that debt
By Sarah O’Brien; CNBC ~ May 02, 2021

Five things to know about the coronavirus relief laws ahead of Tax Day
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ May 02, 2021

Employers, insurers push to make virtual visits regular care
By Tom Murphy; The Associated Press ~ May 02, 2021

Biden’s Special Obamacare Sign-Up Already A Boon To Health Insurers
From Bruce Japsen; Forbes ~ May 02, 2021

The Must-Read Biden Quote on Social Security
By Robin Hartill, CFP; The Motley Fool ~ May 02, 2021

Kaiser Permanente researchers exploring how AI can improve care for heart disease patients
By Brian T. Horowitz; FierceHealthcare ~ Apr 30, 2021

Expand Medicare In The American Families Act? It’s Not That Simple
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Apr 30, 2021

Biden Tax Plan Goes After Capital Gains, Death Tax and More
By Ted Godbout; ASPPA ~ Apr 30, 2021

Senate Democrats Will Start Fresh On Drug Pricing Legislation
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 30, 2021

How the Wealthy Are Trying to Anticipate Biden’s Tax Increases
By Paul Sullivan; The New York Times ~ Apr 30, 2021

What Biden’s latest moves could signal for Social Security reform efforts
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Apr 30, 2021

CDC Study Finds Moderna, Pfizer Vaccines Are Keeping Seniors Out Of Hospital
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 29, 2021

Biden calls on Congress to pass drug pricing legislation this year
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Apr 28, 2021

CDC: Fully Vaccinated People Can Skip Masks In Uncrowded Outdoor Places
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 28, 2021

Pfizer CEO Says Anti-Covid Pill May Be Available By End Of 2021
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 28, 2021

Biden promises no new taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. Experts doubt he can keep that pledge
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Apr 28, 2021

White House aims to permanently extend ACA subsidy boost as part of $1.8 trillion package
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ Apr 28, 2021

Biden aims to recoup over $700 billion in unpaid taxes by beefing up the I.R.S.
By Jim Tankersley; The New York Times ~ Apr 27, 2021

Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment isn’t keeping up with prices retirees pay
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Apr 27, 2021

Which States Will Gain or Lose Seats in the Next Congress
By Weiyi Cai and Reid J. Epstein, New York Times – Apr 26, 2021

House Democrats push Biden to lower Medicare eligibility age
By Rebecca Caplin, CBS News – Apr 26, 2021

How To Handle An Inherited IRA Without Getting Tax-Slammed
From Larry Light; Forbes ~ Apr 26, 2021

Opinion: Why Are Democrats Pushing a Tax Cut for the Wealthy?
By The Editorial Board; The New York Times ~ Apr 25, 2021

US to resume J&J COVID vaccinations despite rare clot risk
By Lauran Neergaard & Mike Stobbe; The Associated Press ~ Apr 24, 2021

IRS holding over 29M unprocessed tax returns, delaying refunds for many low-income Americans
By Megan Henney; Fox Business ~ Apr 24, 2021

5 Strategies To Reduce Investment Taxes
From Mark Avallone; Forbes ~ Apr 24, 2021

Pelosi Faces Pushback From Biden, Dems In Effort To Tackle Drug Prices
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 23, 2021

US health panel urges restarting J&J COVID-19 vaccinations
By Lauran Neergaard & Mike Stobbe; The Associated Press ~ Apr 23, 2021

Biden Giving ACA Navigators A Huge Increase In Funds To Boost Enrollment
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 22, 2021

Could annuities replace pensions as the third leg of the retirement income stool?
By Kristen Beckman; BenefitsPRO ~ Apr 20, 2021

Bipartisan plan to fix Social Security draws criticism
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Apr 20, 2021

How to deduct Medicare costs on your income taxes
By John Rossheim; MarketWatch ~ Apr 19, 2021

Congress Isn’t Finished Coming After Your Retirement Money And Estate
From Bob Carlson; Forbes ~ Apr 19, 2021

Legislation to Shore Up Social Security Resurfaces
By NAPA Net Staff; National Association of Plan Advisors ~ Apr 19, 2021

Rising Debt, Falling Income: How to Dig Out
By Susan B. Garland; The New York Times ~ Apr 17, 2021

Another Covid Surge Appears Likely
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 16, 2021

The idea of COVID-19 vaccine passports raises privacy concerns
By Fortune Editors; Fortune ~ Apr 16, 2021

Republican Senators Push Social Security, Medicare And Medicaid Cuts After Supporting Ineffective Tax Cuts
From Christian Weller; Forbes ~ Apr 16, 2021

On First Day, FEMA Hotline Swamped With 1M Calls Seeking Funeral Help
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 15, 2021

FDA Seeks a New Way to Review Old Drugs Without Causing Prices to Soar
By Harris Meyer; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 15, 2021

Biden signs into law delay of Medicare payment sequester cuts for rest of 2021
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ Apr 14, 2021

Survey Finds Consumers in Pain Over High Prescription Prices, In Need of Better Tools
By Jill Murphy; Pharmacy Times ~ Apr 15, 2021

Opinion: A 'Gray New Deal' to restore America
From Andrew Schrank & Jack A. Goldstone; The Hill ~ Apr 15, 2021

Multiemployer Pension Plans (and Contributing Employers) Look to American Rescue Plan for Relief
By Morgan Lewis; JD Supra ~ Apr 14, 2021

With Drug-Pricing Proposals, PhRMA Aims To Show It Can Compromise
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 14, 2021

Pfizer pushes to speed up its vaccine delivery after J&J pause
By John Bowden; The Hill ~ Apr 13, 2021

What do I do if I've gotten the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot? Your questions, answered
By Ken Alltucker; USA Today ~ Apr 13, 2021

U.S. pauses use of J&J vaccine over rare blood clots, rollout delayed in Europe
By Michael Erman & Manas Mishra; Reuters ~ Apr 13, 2021

Opinion: Why an infrastructure for aging is good for America
From Peter Kaldes; The Hill ~ Apr 13, 2021

CBO Report Shows Enacting Drug Pricing Legislation Will Result In Fewer New Drugs
From John LaMattina; Forbes ~ Apr 12, 2021

Biden Seeks $400 Billion to Buttress Long-Term Care. A Look at What’s at Stake.
By Judith Graham; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 12, 2021

Sanders Proposal Brings Medicare Closer To The Brink Of Collapse
From Sally Pipes; Forbes ~ Apr 12, 2021

Opinion: The real reason Biden and the swamp want higher corporate tax rates
An Editorial; Washington Examiner ~ Apr 12, 2021

Can Biden’s Push for a Public Option Lower Your Healthcare Costs?
By Heather Grey: Healthline ~ Apr 11, 2021

Raising Corporate Taxes Isn't the Only Way to Fund Infrastructure Projects
From Annie White; Car and Driver ~ Apr 11, 2021

White House sends mixed message on higher taxes
By Naomi Jagoda; The Hill ~ Apr 11, 2021

Covid Vaccine Deliveries Are Nearing Public Demand Rates
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 09, 2021

Why Is Healthcare So Expensive? Blame The Lobbyists
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Apr 09, 2021

Biden’s $1.5 Trillion ‘Skinny’ Budget Includes Increases For Climate, Education And Social Justice Spending Programs
By Christian Datoc; Daily Caller ~ Apr 09, 2021

Opinion: A national investment fund to save America
From Harlan Ullman; The Hill ~ Apr 09, 2021

The Tax Filing Deadline Was Delayed, but Read the Fine Print
By Ann Carrns; The New York Times ~ Apr 09, 2021

The best way to tackle drug prices
By Tom Price; The Hill ~ Apr 08, 2021

Evidence Of Another Covid Surge Abounds
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 08, 2021

Biden’s infrastructure plan sets out to expand how America looks at eldercare—and who gets paid
By Nicole Goodkind; Fortune ~ Apr 08, 2021

All Adults Can Have A Covid Shot By April 19, Biden Says
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 07, 2021

Summoning seniors: Big new push to vaccinate older Americans
By Zeke Miller & Leah Willingham; The Associated Press ~ Apr 07, 2021

Climate Change, Housing, Schools: Here’s Where Much Of Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Will Be Spent
By Andrew Trunsky; Daily Caller ~ Apr 07, 2021

Opinion: Biden Plan Will Raise Taxes on the Middle Class
From Daniel J. Pilla; National Review ~ Apr 07, 2021

What’s in Biden’s Tax Plan?
By Alan Rappeport & Jim Tankersley; The New York Times ~ Apr 07, 2021

CDC Updates Rules For Cleaning Surfaces To Protect Against Covid
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 06, 2021

Congress should be required to vote yearly on an 'all-inclusive' budget
From Michael H. Granof; The Hill ~ Apr 06, 2021

Ruling opens door for Democrats to pass $2.2T Biden spending bill with just 50 votes: Schumer
By Brittany De Lea, Fox Business News – Apr 5, 2021

Yellen calls for minimum global corporate income tax
By Christopher Rugaber; The Associated Press ~ Apr 05, 2021

Study: Urgent-care centers result in higher overall healthcare costs
By Kyle Barnett; United Press International ~ Apr 05, 2021

How to check the status of your tax refund
By Lee Clifford; Fortune ~ Apr 05, 2021

Inclusion Of H.R. 3 Drug Price Control Measures In Infrastructure Bill May Negatively Impact Drug Industry
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Apr 04, 2021

How Long Should You Keep Any Tax Records?
By Katelyn Chef; Martha Stewart Living ~ Apr 01, 2021

Next Phase Of Recovery Plan To Feature Health Care, But Biden Quiet On Public Insurance
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 02, 2021

Commentary: Biden’s $2.5 Trillion Plan Will Harm Infrastructure, Drive Jobs Overseas
From Hans Bader; CNS News ~ Apr 01, 2021

Billions in New Obamacare Subsidies Are Now Available on
By Sarah Kliff & Margot Sanger-Katz; The New York Times ~ Apr 01, 2021

White House Seeks To Expand Medicaid Coverage For Home Health Services
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 01, 2021

Backed by Millions in Public and Private Cash, Rapid Covid Tests Are Coming to Stores Near You
By Hannah Norman; Kaiser Health News ~ Apr 01, 2021

Alzheimer's group launches tool to connect patients with health resources
By Jared Gans - 03/31/21 02:54 PM EDT

COLUMN-U.S. lawmakers' generosity on pensions is just a starting point for bolstering retirement security
From Mark Miller; Reuters ~ Apr 01, 2021

Opinion: America's retirement riddle
From Joseph Chamie; The Hill ~ Apr 01, 2021