SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — When Congressman Rodney Davis, a Taylorville Republican representing Illinois’ 13th District, voted against a Democratic proposal to lower the cost of the most expensive prescription drugs on Thursday, national Democrats were poised and ready to launch digital attack ads that claim he “voted against lowering prescription drug costs.”
The GIF shows a prescription pill bottle falling into a garbage can. Courtney Rice, a strategist at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the advertisement is a “significant digital buy” that seeks to reach out to “persuadable voters in the district.”
Congressman Davis explained his vote against the measure on Twitter and said it, “will result in fewer new prescription drugs to treat or cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, ALS, & so many others.”
The DCCC called Davis’ claims “baseless,” but according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3 could have the effect of “lower spending on research and development and thus reduce the introduction of new drugs,” and if a drug manufacturer become dissatisfied with the shrinking profit margins in the U.S. market, it “could pull a drug out of the U.S. market entirely, though CBO expects that would be unlikely for drugs already being sold in the United States,” the report concluded.
The CBO report also said the ‘Lower Drug Costs Now Act’, which passed the House by a vote of 230-192, would save $345 billion in Medicare spending over a six year span, and in the short term, it found that “lower prices would increase use of drugs and improve people’s health.”
The group ‘End Citizens United’ has endorsed Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan in her 2020 bid against Davis, and held a joint press call with Londrigan on Thursday morning to promote the measure, and to attack the incumbent Republican for opposing it.
“His refusal to support this bill shows that he’s out of touch with his constituents,” said Tiffany Muller, the President of End Citizens United. “It shows that he’s choosing corporate profits over voters.”
“We’ll make sure that his voters don’t forget about this vote,” Muller said.
According to OpenSecrets.org, the End Citizens United political action committee has spent $392,500 exclusively to support Democrats so far in the 2020 race. In the 2018 cycle, the same PAC spent more than $1.3 million to support Democratic campaigns for Congress.
“I am honored to be endorsed by End Citizens United,” Londrigan said on Thursday, “and I look forward to making Congressman Davis’ vote against lowering prescription drug costs a top issue throughout this race.”
A spokesperson for Davis responded in an email.
“While Londrigan supports a partisan bill that will result in fewer cures and will never be signed into law, Congressman Davis is supporting a bill that was negotiated between Republicans and Democrats that will lower prices without resulting in fewer prescription drugs for Americans,” Ashley Phelps said.
When reporters asked Londrigan questions about that separate plan, H.R. 19, that Congressman Davis supports, Muller interjected and ran interference to answer the question for her.
“H.R. 19 wouldn’t allow Medicare to negotiate for drugs to help lower those drug prices overall, which is really what we need,” Muller said.
A radio reporter asked Londrigan to comment on the ongoing impeachment debate in the House during the press call. A spokesman for Londrigan’s campaign declined a response.