Thanks To Ralph Abraham For Fighting For Patients
Dr. Ralph Abraham (R-LA05) has spent his career fighting for patients - whether as a doctor, a veterinarian or in his current job as a congressman!
He was a spearhead of President Trumps effort to repeal Obamacare and continuously fights to improve medicine. Now he's fighting for patients by working to lower drug prices. Abraham has signed on as a cosponsor of HR 19 - THE LOWER COSTS, MORE CURES ACT.
This bill encourages innovation of new cures, promotes more low-cost options for patients, and increases transparency and removes uncertainty! All things despartely needed in our healthcare system right now.
HealthAffairs.org has a good summary of the bill on their policy briefs. Here's an excerpt of some of HR19's facets.
Of the three primary elements contained within H.R. 3, H.R. 19 contains just one: a restructuring of the Medicare Part D benefit. H.R. 19’s restructuring, though, looks more like the Senate Finance Committee’s changes to Part D (discussed both here and below), capping out-of-pocket costs at $3,100 and changing manufacturer and Medicare responsibilities throughout the plan design (Section 121). As such, it does not constrain pharmaceutical companies from increasing the prices of their drugs over time, nor does it constrain high launch prices in the first instance.
H.R. 19 contains a range of other positive changes to our drug pricing system. To select just a few noteworthy examples, it includes a range of transparency provisions, one of which would require manufacturers to provide both notification of and an explanation for list price hikes that exceed 10 percent in a single year or 25 percent within three years (Section 111). It provides additional financial protections to Part D beneficiaries, allowing some to spread out their cost-sharing obligations over a year (Section 133) and capping their out-of-pocket costs for insulin separately from the overall cap (Section 134). It also adopts several bills designed to combat pharmaceutical company efforts to delay generic or biosimilar entry (Title III): the CREATES Act; pay-for-delay reform; reforms to first generic exclusivity “parking” behaviors; Orange and Purple Book reforms; and more.
H.R. 19 represents a significant step forward for the House Republican caucus on drug pricing. Further, the package’s sponsors are clearly right that these elements have bipartisan support. However, most of these elements have been around for many years (I first blogged about the CREATES Act in June 2016) and could have been passed at any time. It took the introduction and expected passage of H.R. 3 for the Republican caucus to coalesce around this package of changes. Further, these changes are fairly narrow. They would certainly provide tangible benefits for a large number of Medicare Part D beneficiaries. However, they would largely not help Americans with private insurance, or even Medicare beneficiaries with high Part B expenses.
Thanks to Rep. Abraham for signing on to this piece of legislation. Now we just need two of our other key Louisiana Lawmakers to sign on... lookin at you Steve Scalise and Mike Johnson (LOL).
But in all seriousness, this is a good bill and we at MAGA Louisiana hope that we can get all of our legislators on board. That way we can advance the President's Pro-America, Pro-Patient healthcare policy!