Health care advocates criticize Maria Elvira Salazar in support of Build Back Better

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Health care advocates and union workers met Friday morning outside of Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar’s district office in Miami in response to her opposition of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda.

The group spoke in support of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, particularly on the health care aspect of the plan, which seeks to lower costs of prescriptions as well as health care in general.

“It is not a partisan issue that drug costs in this country have been moving in the wrong direction, getting more prohibitively expensive without any checks being put on unscrupulous large pharmaceutical companies,” William Miller, Protect Our Care Florida state director, said in a statement.

Those at the event also criticized U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, along with Salazar, for inaction in regard to lowering prescription drug prices for Floridians and providing more pandemic relief, like extending the child tax credit.

“A major part of this reconciliation package is the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug costs directly with pharmaceutical companies,” Miller continued. “By opposing this plan in Congress, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar and Rep. Carlos Gimenez have shown that they would rather stand with Big Pharma than stand with the interests of her own constituents.”

The event also included a mobile billboard, paid for by Protect Our Care, with a message urging Salazar to support the “Build Back Better” agenda, specifically for its goal to lower prescription drug prices.

“94 percent of Americans want lower drug prices now!” the billboard reads. “But, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar is standing with Big Pharma instead of patients facing high drug prices.”

“Tell Rep. Salazar: Give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices now!” the billboard continued. “It’s time to put patients first, not Big Pharma profits.”

New research released through polling firm Data for Progress shows that nine out of 10 voters in Florida’s 27th Congressional District, the district Salazar represents, support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, and 76% of voters in the district think drug prices are unreasonable.

“Earlier this year, the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress passed an incredible plan — the American Rescue Plan — which created a new child tax credit for working families like mine, that need extra help to support our children as we cope with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Juan Moore, South Florida organizing lead with For Our Future Florida and local Miami resident. “Congresswoman Salazar, and Congressman Gimenez, you should be ashamed to have voted against this critical help for families like mine. I hope that when the time comes again to vote on this legislation as part of the Build Back Better agenda, you will actually stand up for the needs of South Florida’s families.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]



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