Today, after Senator Joni Ernst attempted to rewrite her long record of blocking meaningful prescription drug reform and fighting against efforts to reduce health care costs, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson Jeremy Busch released the following statement:
“Senator Ernst’s eleventh hour flip-flop to pretend she’s fighting to lower health care and prescription drug costs is an act of political desperation to salvage her career in Washington,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson. “Ernst has spent half a decade siding with Big Pharma over Iowans: blocking reforms to lower prescription drug costs and voting for massive tax giveaways to protect their profits, while raising $120,000 in campaign cash from them. Senator Ernst believing she can pull the wool over Iowans’ eyes is the very definition of the Washington politics that Iowans are ready to replace.”
In a sign of just how disingenuous Senator Ernst is being on this issue, she also simultaneously announced her support for a rival pharma-friendlier alternative bill – backed only by Republicans who are drug industry allies – that strips out the core provision of the Grassley-Wyden package to cap the rising cost of prescription drug prices at inflation.
Senator Ernst’s half-decade of blocking prescription drug reform and protecting the profits of her Big Pharma backers could not be more clear to Iowans:
- Ernst voted for the reckless GOP Tax Scam in 2017, giving enormous tax giveaways to pharmaceutical corporations while threatening massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
- Ernst sided with Big Pharma by voting against bipartisan bill to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, an effort supported by her fellow Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.
- Ernst led the fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions. To try and cover up her record, Ernst sponsored a bill that would allow insurers to charge higher prices for prescription coverage, making “plans effectively useless for people who need ongoing treatment.”
- Ernst supported repealing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole that was closed by the ACA and has saved Iowa seniors nearly $76 million on prescription drug costs.