WASHINGTON – This week, Rep. Madeleine Dean voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act. She also voted to pass H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act.


Equality Act


H.R. 5 is a historic piece of legislation that expands civil rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. In 30 states – including Pennsylvania – LGBTQ+ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, or denied services. The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other key statutes to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in housing, employment, education, jury service, credit and financing, and public accommodations.  It passed by a vote of 236-173.


“No matter who you love or how you identify, everyone should be treated with decency and respect,” said Rep. Dean. “This legislation takes the next step in a long American tradition of expanding civil rights protections. It affirms that in this country, there is no “us” and “them” – there’s just us.”


Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act


H.R. 987 is a major piece of legislation that lowers prescription drug prices and defends vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It passed by a vote of 234-183.


“Over the last year, I’ve heard from countless constituents about the need to bring prescription drug prices down – and that’s what this legislation will do,” said Rep. Dean. “By removing barriers to lower-cost generic drugs entering the market earlier, we’ll provide consumers more ways to get the medicines they need.”


H.R. 987 is a bipartisan omnibus bill that includes three bills to lower prescription drug costs by helping lower-priced generic drugs get to market faster and four measures to reinforce the protections for people with pre-existing conditions and expand enrollment in quality, affordable coverage to more Americans. This bipartisan package invests most of the savings created by the bills promoting generic competition into strengthening our health care system by increasing enrollment in quality coverage and helping interested states set up their own state-based marketplaces, which outperform the Federal marketplace.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirms that all three of the bills included in H.R. 987 will result in lower prescription drug costs.