Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security. The subcommittee is part of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Sen. Sanders’ subcommittee activities include work on: community health centers; access to medical, dental, and mental health care; the primary care provider workforce; social services for seniors and the Older Americans Act; preventing and addressing elder abuse; health disparities and economic inequality; and other health and aging policy issues.


Congress Investigating Why Generic Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing
Is Poverty a Death Sentence? The Great Divide: Life in McDowell County
The Effects of Medicaid Expansion: One Border, Two Cities and a World of Difference on Health Care
The Effects of Medicaid Expansion: Across the State Line

Press Releases


TV Network News Ignores High Drug Prices


Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act Introduced to Help Lower Skyrocketing Cost of Medicine


Sanders and Cummings Demand Answers After Marathon Sets Outrageous Price Tag for Critical Drug


Sanders: Will Trump Really Take on Pharmaceutical Industry? I Hope So


Senate to Vote on Sanders Amendment to Lower Rx Prices


Sanders Optimistic Congress Will Lower Drug Prices


Sanders: Trump Must Pledge to Veto Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security


Cummings and Sanders Raise Concerns about Assertions to Congress by Heritage Pharmaceuticals While Company Engaged in Alleged Price Fixing


Sanders: Trump Should Pledge to Veto Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid Cuts


Senate Republicans Block Trump Proposal to Lower Prescription Drug Prices


Sanders Statement on Trump's HHS Pick


Sanders Statement on the 21st Century Cures Act

More Press Releases



The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act 

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 

The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 

Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act of 2015 

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 

Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2015 

Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act 

Teaching Health Center Reauthorization Act 

Older Americans Act Amendments of 2013 

Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2013 

Expanding Primary Care Access and Workforce Act 


Seniors Update 2015These are tough times for many seniors in Vermont and throughout the country. Poverty among seniors is rising, and with today’s high prices for food, housing, and prescription drugs, millions of seniors are one bad break away from an economic crisis. The good news is that for the last 80 years, Social Security has provided retirement security for our nation’s seniors. And for the past 50 years, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act have provided critical health care and long-term services and supports that seniors need and deserve.

Single PayerMany Americans receive the best health care in the world, including state-of-the-art screenings, cutting edge treatments and life-saving drugs. At the same time, millions of Americans have little or no access to even the most basic health care services. While the U.S. spends nearly twice as much on health care as any other country in the world, our health outcomes are worse than other high-income countries. This report highlights elements of high performing single-payer health care systems that are easier to access, navigate and afford than health care in the United States.

Is Poverty a Death Sentence? For the first time in our nation’s history, children born in some parts of the country are expected to live shorter lives than their parents’ generation. This report highlights research on the devastating long-term effects of poverty on health and life expectancy.

Dental CrisisMany people in the U.S. have access to the best oral health care in the world, yet millions are unable to get even the basic dental care they need. This report highlights the shortage of dental providers, insufficient dental insurance coverage, and costs of untreated oral health problems and offers potential solutions for increasing access to affordable dental services.

Senior HungerNo senior citizen should go hungry in the U.S. Unfortunately, hunger among the nation’s senior population is a growing crisis—hunger rates have more than doubled for poor older adults in recent years. This report finds that while Older Americans Act meals programs are critical to alleviating senior hunger, these programs do not have the funding to meet the growing need across the country.

Primary CareNearly 57 million people in the U.S. – one in five Americans – live in areas where they do not have adequate access to primary health care due to a shortage of providers in their communities. 52,000 primary care physicians will be needed by 2025. This report highlights several reasons why the primary care shortage is growing and presents several policy solutions to address this crisis.

Latest Hearing

Generic Drug Prices Skyrocket Sharp increases in prices for many generic drugs were examined at a Senate hearing where three pharmaceutical companies refused to testify. Generic drugs, copies of drugs no longer protected by patents, historically have cost much less than brand-name prescription medicines. During that period, nearly 10 percent of all generic drugs more than doubled in price, according to the analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Read more »

In the News

2/28/17 The Washington Post

Bernie Sanders takes another swing at big pharma with bill to allow drug imports



Sanders, Cummings Blast Pharmaceutical Company for $89,000 Price Tag on Old Drug

1/11/17 The Washington Post

Trump on drug prices: Pharma companies are ‘getting away with murder’

12/20/16 Reuters

Democrats seek Trump's cooperation on drug price reform

11/29/16 STAT News

Bernie Sanders attacks the 21st Century Cures Act and pharmaceutical industry ‘greed’


Boston Globe

Bernie Sanders takes aim at Eli Lilly over insulin prices

More News