After five years of opposing meaningful reforms to lower prescription drug costs, Senator Joni Ernst has launched an eleventh-hour cover-up to pretend she’s been fighting for Iowa seniors and families all along. But, as polls are showing, voters aren’t fooled by Ernst’s election-year reversals. 

Read below as a 35-year Iowa public employee holds Senator Ernst accountable for using her public office to prop up Big Pharma instead of delivering results for Iowans.

Des Moines Register: Opinion: Joni Ernst seems more committed to working with Big Pharma than to lowering drug prices

By: Patrick Morrissey, March 7, 2020

  • Seniors like me face the consequences of Big Pharma’s price-gouging every day. Even with Medicare and supplemental prescription coverage, my drug costs have doubled and tripled… While Iowans struggle to afford medicine, Big Pharma reaps massive profits.
  • Sen. Joni Ernst’s announcement in support of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s prescription drug bill is the same old lip service we’ve been hearing from Republicans claiming to support bipartisan solutions. It’s not credible. 
  • Last December, the House of Representatives passed the Lower Drug Costs Act, which requires Big Pharma to negotiate lower prices with Medicare and give those low prices to people with private insurance.
  • Yet Grassley, Ernst and other Republicans won’t even consider it, calling negotiations “government overreach” — even though the government already does this for Medicaid and Veterans Affairs. Instead, Grassley and Ernst are peddling legislation that preserves drug corporations’ power to keep prices high.
  • Ernst isn’t fooling anyone. She’s done more to support drug company campaign donors than she has for Iowa families who can’t afford prescriptions. As Congress considered drug legislation last year, Ernst took $35,000 from drug corporations. She supported legislation giving them billions in permanent tax breaks: The top five largest drug corporations got over $8 billion in 2018 alone, along with subsidies for CEO pay, marketing and research and development. 
  • Clearly Ernst is more interested in “working together” with drug corporations to protect their profits and tax breaks. Instead, she should working on behalf of her constituents by supporting solutions to Big Pharma’s price-gouging.

Read the full opinion here.