NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Bobby Scott met to discuss prescription drug prices and flooding among others during a visit to the Hampton Roads region Monday.
The first topic of discussion was about lowering prescription drug costs for Virginians. This came after the Biden Administration announced that all 10 manufacturers whose drugs were selected for price negotiation with Medicare agreed to participate in the Inflation Reductions Act’s (IRA) Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program.
Both Kaine and Scott voted for the IRA, which allows the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to negotiate prescription drug prices. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this will lower Medicare spending by more than $98 billion over 10 years.
Kaine introduced legislation earlier this year to protect patients from harmful practices that raise out-of-pocket drug costs. He also voted for the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act, which helps to lower drug costs, and his Patient Right to Shop Act, which helps ensure patients can access pricing tools to compare prices before paying for a prescription.
After this, Kaine and Scott met with Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander and other leaders from Naval Station Norfolk to view the site of a future Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot program project. The project aims to improve Hampton Boulevard, a main access road to Naval Station Norfolk.
Kaine announced nearly $2.4 million in federal funding to improve the road’s stormwater management system to boost its flood resilience and to improve access for military and civilian personnel.
“We’re growing because [of] the nature of weapons systems and new platforms coming,” Naval Station Norfolk Commanding Officer Capt. Janet Days told 10 On Your Side.
Days added that the flooding project is helpful with the base’s expected growth, adding new air platforms and aircraft carrier the John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).
“This project is fantastic,” Days said. “The flooding actually stops effort and the ability for folks to not only get to work and the installation, but say you were going to sea and [we have] to meet a timeline.”
Kaine and Scott were able to secure nearly $399 million for the Norfolk Costal Storm Risk Management Project as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Kyle Spencer, city of Norfolk chief resilience officer, explained this is a four-phase project to raise the road and add new inlets, storm pipes, a sidewalk and new traffic controls, among other things. Spencer said it will take about three years to complete.
“This is going to be a very important project for a number of reasons,” Scott said. “National security being one, when the road floods, people can’t get to the base. It’s also run off into the Chesapeake Bay with all the pollution. It’s an important project for a number of different reasons.
“People will have to be patient a little bit during the construction, but in the end it’ll make a lot of difference.”