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Sen. Mark Kelly joins AARP to celebrate changes to Medicare prescription drugs

Older adults will be seeing changes to Medicare prescription drugs after Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act. And lower-income seniors could enjoy huge benefits.

The nonprofit organization Justice in Aging found older adults with Medicare spend $5,368 a year on average on out-of-pocket costs. With the passage of the act, those costs will be cut.

Sen. Mark Kelly spoke at an AARP Arizona roundtable on Wednesday about what he called an “historic piece of legislation.”

"The people that have to make hard choices that, in our country today, nobody should really have to decide whether to buy groceries, or make a decision to cut the pills in half and take half a dose, or in some cases, not take the medication at all," he said.

These prescription drug reforms will include capping out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year for those with Medicare Part D, as well as capping the cost of insulin to $35 per month. And for the first time, Medicare will be required to negotiate the prices of certain high cost drugs.

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.