NEW POLL: Swing District Voters in Key States of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina Want Candidates who Will Take On Big Pharma

Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Social Security Works, and Wendell Potter’s Business Initiative for Health Policy Launch New Accountability Effort to Make Supporting Big Pharma a Badge of Shame

An unprecedented and first-of-its-kind congressional score card will be the center of a new accountability push by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Social Security Works, and former Cigna Executive Wendell Potter’s Business Initiative for Health Policy — putting Big Pharma in the center of the 2020 debate. Swing state polling in key presidential states also shows voters support progressive drug-pricing policies and taking on Big Pharma.

At a press conference earlier today, the groups announced the new accountability effort for any member of Congress taking Big Pharma’s money and voting in their interests — making support from Big Pharma a badge of shame alongside the NRA and other special interests. They were joined by allies from the Center for Popular Democracy and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice.

“The American people need and want action on prescription drugs. When our tax dollars pay for research, we should be able to access life-saving drugs at prices we can afford,” said Stephanie Taylor, Co-Founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “This scorecard will allow us to see which members of Congress support key legislation to lower the cost of drugs for seniors and working families — and which members of Congress are standing in the way.”

“For too long pharmaceutical money has spoken louder than the American people in Washington, DC,” said Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works. “Our Congressional scorecard is set to correct this perversion of democracy, hold members of Congress accountable for their promises and ensure that the people’s voices are heard when we say: we need bold action on drug prices and we need it now.”

The planned Congressional Pharma Score Card will grade current members of Congress on whether they side with working families or Big Pharma based on their voting record. It will also display their campaign finance records. This follows months of diplomacy with Hill offices making clear that lowest-common-denominator bills of yesteryear are not enough. Instead, bold ideas like allowing generic competition on life-saving drugs by breaking up patent monopolies, capping drug prices to be on par with other countries, or a public option for prescription drugs, that are popular with voters will be scored and grades will be publicly disseminated in districts.

“Healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to rise in large part because drug companies continue to raise already exploitive pricing,” said Richard Master, Chairman and Founder of Business Initiative For Health Policy. “Although reasonable and effective regulation has been proposed, the U.S. Congress stands by passing only modest, ineffectual measures. Shining a light on individual member voting records and industry influence will give American citizens the transparency they need when voting.  It will reveal hollow campaign promises for what they are.”

New polling conducted by Public Policy Polling in the swing House districts in the key presidential states of New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina shows how this issue resonates among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents as they vote for Congress and President. Polling was conducted in IA-4, NH-1, and SC-1 — all key districts for Democrats to either flip or hold in order to maintain a majority in 2020. (see detailed results below)

These poll results show that in all three of these districts, voters across Democratic and Republican party lines:

  • Support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices (at least 76% of all voters).

  • Support allowing generic competition on life-saving drugs by breaking up monopolies (at least 73% of all voters).

  • Say drug prices are an important issue in their lives (at least 84% of all voters).

  • Say they would be more likely to support a candidate who stands up to Big Pharma (at least 53% of all voters).

Also, a plurality of at least 48% of voters in each district supports creating a publicly-owned, not-for-profit-drug company as a public option for prescription drug