Grassley Champions Iowa Senior Citizens, Protects Important Entitlement Programs
- Senator Grassley is working to make sure the free markets work as intended to drive down prices and foster innovation in pharmaceutical medicine, including reforms to anti-competitive business practices that keep more affordable generic drugs off the pharmacy store shelves. His bill called Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act would prevent brand name drug companies from blocking less expensive generic alternatives from entering the market. The brand name companies do this by denying access to information that generic makers need to develop generic versions. The second bill is the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act. It would help end the practice that brand name and generic manufacturers deploy through pay-off agreements to keep more affordable generic equivalents off the market.
- Senator Grassley is working to make sure taxpayers aren’t overcharged for prescription medicines. For example, Iowans who contacted Senator Grassley about the 400 percent increase they were paying for EpiPens led to his oversight work that exposed the drug company Mylan may have overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars to Medicaid.
- As former chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Senator Grassley conducted 52 congressional hearings to make sure public policies keep pace with Americans living longer than ever before. And as then-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Grassley convened 157 hearings to examine issues affecting the quality of life for Americans, including retirement and health care security for older citizens. Senator Grassley believes changes to Social Security to make the program solvent must maintain current benefits for those at or near retirement, maintain a guaranteed level of benefits for future generations, and be made with bipartisan consensus. Likewise, Medicare has made a significant contribution to the lives of older Americans and access to this program for future seniors must be protected. Spending in Medicare accounts for 15 percent of the federal budget. To rein in unnecessary spending, better enforcement of antifraud and integrity activities is needed, along with payment methods for quality health outcomes rather than volumes of services.
As Iowa’s Workhorse and Watchdog for Seniors — Senator Grassley:
- keeps tabs on quality of care at nursing homes, as then-chairman of the Aging Committee, he worked to improve the inspections process to raise standards of care and compliance across the industry;
- empowers families and caregivers with transparency tools to compare nursing home quality;
- works to stop financial exploitation schemes to protect seniors from losing their life savings to financial crimes;
- enacted legislation to make sure companies uphold pension promises to their workers;
- raises awareness to stop elder abuse and exploitation of older and disabled citizens on social media;
- supports federal incentives for more research to prevent and cure age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease;
- conducts oversight of Medicare Part D to ensure the program effectively serves seniors and taxpayers with access to affordable prescription medicine, enacted sunshine laws to let the public review pharmaceutical and medical industry payments to physicians, and works to stop anti-competitive practices that keep generics off the pharmacy store shelves; and,
- calls for better enforcement of prescribing practices to prevent taxpayer fraud and abusive use of anti-psychotic medications and addictive pain killers to the nation’s elderly.
- Senator Grassley was named a “Guardian of Seniors’ Rights” for his work to protect Medicare and Social Security by the 60 Plus Association.