Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) released the following statement after President Trump’s speech on the administration’s efforts to lower health care costs.
“During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed first-hand the value of American innovation, and many stakeholders have warned the Most Favored Nation rule would put American innovation and the development of new treatments and cures at risk. I worked closely with President Trump on Right to Try, and I know how much he appreciates the hope that new treatments and cures bring to patients. In fact, that’s why he’s made a historic push for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. It’s remarkable that tens of millions of Americans could potentially be vaccinated for COVID-19 as early as next month, with more vaccinations expected in the months to come. That is why we must always consider the impact any action taken to lower costs could have on innovation.
“I am pleased by the announcement on steps to address the outdated Stark and anti-kickback statutes. Now more than ever, it’s important every entity involved in patient care can work together to deliver the highest level of quality care. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen that improved coordination of care helps fill gaps, and there’s absolutely no reason not to remove the bureaucratic hurdles that hinder care and further strain our health care system. This is welcome news, as is the rebate rule – which will ensure any savings on medicines goes where it should: to consumers.
“No president has pushed harder to lower drug prices than President Trump, and I thank him for his continued commitment to this fight. Lowering what Americans pay for their medicines should be a shared priority. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress continue to hold up bipartisan legislation like my bill, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act. This measure would protect innovation, lower what people across the country are paying for prescriptions, and – unlike Speaker Pelosi’s socialist H.R. 3 – could actually be signed into law. In fact, many provisions in H.R. 19 have already been enacted, but I continue to encourage my colleagues to stop playing politics and bring H.R. 19 in its entirety to the House floor for a vote,” said Walden.
Today the administration announced several measures that aim to lower Americans’ health care costs. Read more here.
The Lower Costs, More Cures Act includes bipartisan provisions and is supported by over 75% of the Republican Caucus. Despite Democrat obstruction, H.R. 19 has had more provisions enacted this Congress than any other drug pricing bill.
The following provisions included in H.R. 19 have been enacted:
- Sections 134 & 402 (done administratively): Section 134 establishes a monthly $50 post-deductible cap for insulin and insulin supplies for seniors, starting in 2022. Section 402 provides a safe harbor for high deductible health plans without a deductible for insulin.
- Sections 301-303: These provisions allow for actions against bad actors who delay generics and biosimilars coming to market by withholding drug samples. (CREATES Act, enacted December 2019)
- Section 361: This provision allows certain products, like insulin, to continue under their current FDA drug approval pathway after March 23, 2020, and then– subsequent to approval— be deemed as a biologic, which will help them get to market sooner.
- Sections 370-382: These provisions provide new authorities to the FDA aimed at increasing the number of over-the-counter products available, which will lower costs for patients.
- Section 391: This provision prevents manufacturers from gaming the system by receiving additional exclusivity periods once they are deemed biologics.
- Section 401: This provision makes permanent the 7.5% AGI threshold for purposes of the medical expense deduction. Note: Congress lowered the AGI floor for 2020 in the last spending bill at the end of 2019. This provision would make this already-codified reduced AGI threshold permanent.
- Section 403: This provision allows all tax-favored health accounts to be used to purchase over the-counter medical products and adds feminine or menstrual care
Read the full section-by-section here.