Pascrell Announces New Legislation to Help New Jerseyans with Prescription Costs


Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. visited the Clifton Senior Center as he praised recent legislation aimed at making certain medications more affordable for New Jersey resident.

Mayor Ray Grabowski welcomed Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. to the Clifton Senior Center on August 8, 2023, where he came to tout a new bill aimed at making certain life-saving medications more affordable for many New Jerseyans.

Mayor Grabowski and Congressman Pascrell

Signed by Governor Phil Murphy on July 10, S-1614 caps monthly out-of-pocket expenses for insulin at $35, epinephrine injectors at $25, and asthma inhalers at $50 for all New Jerseyans on state-regulated or public worker health plans. This bill expands the protections afforded by the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes a cap of $35 on monthly insulin for those enrolled in Medicare Parts B and D, to include those who are not yet eligible for the age-restricted Medicare.

“This is a huge step forward in our ongoing efforts to deliver much-needed relief to countless families throughout our state who are struggling to afford critical medications,” said Governor Murphy, on signing the bill. “I am proud to sign nation-leading legislation that will make a real difference in the lives of New Jerseyans as we continue to work towards making prescription drugs and other health care services more affordable and accessible to everyone.”

Pascrell, who is himself diabetic but not insulin-dependent, spoke of his adult son, whose monthly insulin supply costs him $150. “My son is a diabetic. He uses insulin. He is not under Medicare; he's not 65 years of age yet. He is paying a higher price than anybody. He’s in his fifties. What we tried to do was pass legislation that would include not only Medicare seniors but also everybody.”

The congressman also spoke about New Jersey’s lowered unemployment rate since Covid, rising wages, and of his commitment to fighting efforts to privatize Social Security. “There's no Democratic or Republican way to clean the streets, by the way. And when we work together, we do better,” Pascrell said.”

Justin Zimmerman, newly appointed Acting Commissioner of the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance also addressed the small crowd of approximately two dozen seniors. Effective January 1, 2024, the new bill will extend the Medicare cap of $35 for insulin to all New Jerseyans who are on state-regulated health plans, including public employees, regardless of age. “Like the congressman, the governor has that principle, that Healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” he said.

Justin Zimmerman

This new bill will also cap prices on EpiPens, which many people carry to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, and on asthma inhalers, ensuring that people who depend on these medications will not have to ration their supply or do without. “Residents should not have to choose between filling a prescription essential to their health or buying groceries to feed their families,” Zimmerman said.

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