Schumer, Portman, Cassidy, Collins

The opioid bill (H.R. 6)

Senator Schumer: (4:00 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "Many, many, many Americans believe her. Many, many women in America who have been taken advantage of certainly believe her. For too long women have made serious allegations of abuse and have been ignored or dragged through the mud. It would be a disgrace if this body and our fellow Republicans let that happen. Chairman Grassley must postpone the vote on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination until, at a very minimum, these serious and credible allegations are thoroughly investigated. The F.B.I. conducted a background check on Judge Kavanaugh before these allegations were known. The F.B.I. when they did their background check had no knowledge of what went on here."
  • Spoke on opioid legislation.
    • "This bill recognizes that fact. So I want to thank members on my side whose legislation is included in this bill, Senators Baldwin, Donnelly, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson, Casey, Heitkamp, and Klobuchar, and many more Democratic senators contributed to this bill, as have many Republicans, and I thank them for their hard work. Addiction, Madam President, has held too many Americans in its grip for too long. We cannot let up our efforts to fight this scourge. In the coming days and weeks, the Senate will work on merging the Senate bill with the House bill and it is my hope that we will have a new opioid law signed in the future."
  • Spoke on Hurricane Florence.
    • "To see the pictures of houses being flooded breaks your heart. You see the devastation and it's something that minded me of what happened in my state a few years ago with sandy. Our hearts go out to these people and the federal government always pulls together when a part of the nation has a problem."


Senator Portman: (4:13 p.m.)

  • Spoke on opioid legislation.
    • "I'd like to thank Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer for agreeing to bring this legislation to the floor tonight. It doesn't include everything all of us want to see but it has important new initiatives and it's a step in the right direction. I know at least one issue we couldn't include in this broader package is the arbitrary cap that's in place in so many treatment centers. They're capped at 16 beds for Medicaid reimbursement which is really a vestige of a previous policy to get people out of institutional care mostly mental health focused but it's having an effect now in this opioid crisis we talked about, because people who are ready to get into treatment are told there is no room."


Senator Cassidy: (4:32 p.m.)

  • Spoke on drug prices.
    • "I'm here to support the Patients' Right to Know Drug Crisis Act put together by Senators Collins and McCaskill of which I'm privileged to cosponsor. Let me just say right now our health care system is designed just if you will to shake as much money out of the patient and taxpayer, all to the benefit of the others, but not to the patient and not to the taxpayer. And one of the most egregious examples are the pharmacy gag clause. In a pharmacy gag clause, if you go to the pharmacy and it would be cheaper for you to pay cash for the drug as opposed to your insurance deductible, the pharmacist may be restricted by a contract from telling you that."


Senator Collins: (4:36 p.m.)

  • Spoke on drug prices.
    • "Madam President, I rise today in support of the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, legislation that I've introduced with Senators McCaskill, Barrasso, Stabenow, and Cassidy. Our bill is also cosponsored by Chairman Lamar Alexander and 19 other senators from both sides of the aisle. So, Madam President, this is one of those rare occasions when we're taking up a bill with widespread bipartisan support that is going to really make a difference. This commonsense bill would ban the use of pharmacy gag clauses, an egregious practice that prevents pharmacists from telling their consumers when they could purchase their prescriptions for less money by paying out of pocket remember than using their insurance."