November 13,2019

ICYMI: Amid Impeachment Investigation, Grassley Focused on Capping Prescription Drug Prices

Amid Impeachment Investigation, Grassley Focused on Capping Prescription Drug Prices
By James Lynch
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley started his weekly conference call with Iowa reporters with a disclaimer — he’s not glued to his television monitoring the House impeachment investigation.
“I know everyone in the news media wants to talk about impeachment, at least that’s the way it is out here in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “That’s understandable. Impeaching a president is a very serious matter and Washington is very captivated by it.”
However, the Iowa Republican says that only underscores his belief that “Washington, D.C. is an island surrounded by reality.”
“Right now, most Americans aren’t talking about impeachment. They’re focused on real issues they and their families are facing,” Grassley said.
So while Grassley’s staff will be following the public hearings to give him daily updates, the senator said he will be focused on issues important to the Iowans he meets when he is back in the state every week.
That includes his plan to control prescription drug prices. Grassley recently cited a Gallup poll that found more than 13 percent of American adults — 34 million people — said they knew of someone who died because they could not afford medical treatment and 58 million Americans can’t afford their prescription drugs.
According to Gallup, the percentage of adults who report not having had enough money in the past 12 months to “pay for needed medicine or drugs that a doctor prescribed” to them is rising. This percentage has increased significantly, from 18.9 percent in January 2019 to 22.9 percent in September.
The increase reflects a marked rise among women of over 5 percentage points to 27.5 percent, widening the gender gap to over 9 points when compared with the 18.1 percent rate for men.

The Senate is split 53-47 between Republicans and Democrats, respectively, and Grassley said he has the support of all but two or three Democrats and “ought to be able to get at least half of the Republicans to be for it.”