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Senator Grassley Visits Quad Cities to Discuss Rising Drug Prices


On Friday, Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley visited the Quad Cities to meet with retired doctors and health care workers to discuss rising drug prices and health care costs.

Audience members say they are concerned about limited health insurance coverage for prescription drugs, excessive drug advertising on television, and overall spikes in drug prices.

"Once you set a price, why do you need 5-10% increases every year after? So that's the main point, and that point saves the taxpayer $95 billion."

Grassley introduced a bipartisan bill with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon last year. The bill would set an out-of-pocket cap of $3,100 per year for prescription drugs, but Grassley says that number is negotiable with Progressive Democrats who want to see that cap lowered.

He's also co-sponsoring a bill with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota to allow drug imports from countries such as Canada.

Grassley says when it comes to health care, there's no single unified Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

"But if you deal with Health Savings Accounts that's a separate bill. If you deal with insurance across state lines, that's a separate bill. And one of them is in Commerce Committee, another one's in the Finance Committee. And put a lot of pieces together and you have a program."

The Grassley-Wyden bill made it out of committee last year, but never made it to the floor of Congress. Grassley hopes to see a vote on the bill this year.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.