TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a stop in New Jersey on Saturday, speaking about the high cost of health care and prescription drug prices. Pelosi’s visit comes just days after she ripped up President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
“We need it bad. We need it as people and we need it as young people — especially those who have chronic illnesses and preexisting conditions,” Jared Schecthel, who’s living with Crohn’s disease, said.
Schecthel was diagnosed when he was 12 years old. Despite having insurance, he says the debilitating part is his health care costs.
“You have to keep paying and paying and paying and paying and it just stacks up,” he said.
On Saturday, Schecthel participated in a roundtable discussion with Pelosi on ways to cut the cost of prescription drugs.
“This is not only about the health security of America’s working families — it’s about the financial health of their families,” Pelosi said.
In December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR3.
The bill would allow the federal government to negotiate the cost of medications with drug companies in an effort to lower prices.
This subject is top of mind for people on both sides of the aisle. Trump even mentioned it in his State of the Union address.
“Get a bill on my desk and I will sign it into law immediately,” Trump said.
While the measure passed in the House, it has stalled in the Senate.
“The delay is on the desk of Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said. “He said I’m the grim reaper, none of this is going to see the light of day. So that was a nice thing for the president to say but it is counter to the behavior.”
The Congressional Budget Office says the bill would save taxpayers $345 billion over four years, but it would cost companies $1 trillion in revenue, preventing them from developing new drugs.
The New Jersey Republican Party says the state could lose 54,000 jobs if the bill is signed.
But for families like Schechtel’s, he says something must be done.
“It’ll help tons of families like ours,” Schecthel said.