Health Subcommittee Chair Guthrie Opening Statement at Markup to Lower Costs & Increase Transparency
Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee markup to lower costs and increase transparency.
Excerpts and highlights below:
PROMOTING GREATER PATIENT ACCESS TO QUALITY CARE
“In today’s markup, we will consider 17 bills that advance the goal of protecting and promoting greater patient access to quality health care, making our health care system more transparent for patients and their families, and driving more competition and choice in our health care system.
“These bills represent key priorities of the American people, and I look forward to advancing these bills before the full committee.
“Our shared bipartisan goal has resulted in productive bipartisan discussions leading up to this markup.
“Many of the bills we are considering are the product of robust bipartisan work with the common goal of helping patients.
“The subcommittee undertook a rigorous process: we held hearings, we heard from impacted stakeholders, including relevant government agencies, and we incorporated feedback shared with subcommittee members and staff from both sides of the aisle over the course of the past several weeks.
“We made improvements to ensure these proposals ultimately have the greatest impact on patients.
“I am proud of the work we have accomplished to get us to this point.
“These bills represent key priorities of the American people, and I look forward to advancing these bills to the full committee.”
IMPROVEMENTS FOR PATIENTS AND PROVIDERS
“We have heard countless stories about the complexity and opacity of the health care system, and how that impacts patients, employers, and even health care providers.
“Today we will consider legislation to increase transparency into the prices that hospitals, laboratories, and insurance companies charge patients and employers.
“The legislation would also increase transparency in the prescription drug market and the vertical integration that is taking place in our health care system.
“These solutions will bring much-needed transparency to patients and employers.
“As policymakers, we are seeking to strengthen our health care system and federal programs to ensure patients are getting the greatest value possible.
“The legislation before us today also reauthorize numerous programs designed to bolster patient access to care, particularly for those most in need.
“We’re taking up legislation to protect access to care in vulnerable communities by eliminating looming cuts to disproportionate share hospitals and continuing funding for the community health center program, both of which serve thousands of patients in each of our districts.
“One of the problems that I hear about the most frequently back home are the workforce challenges across the health care system.
“Legislation before us today would serve as one step to addressing some of these challenges, especially in rural communities by extending funding for the Community Health Center Fund, the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program, and the National Health Service Corps.
“We’re also promoting access to care for vulnerable Americans who need lifesaving, one-of-a-kind treatments.
“My bill, the Medicaid VBPs for Patients Act, or the MVP Act, would provide access to the most innovative cures for Medicaid patients living with otherwise incurable or untreatable life-threatening conditions.
“We are talking about patients dealing with diseases, such as sickle cell, Duchene muscular dystrophy, and debilitating bleeding disorders.
“I want to personally thank Representative Eshoo for her leadership to take on this bill with me that will ultimately save lives and promote long-term savings for state Medicaid programs.”
INCREASING COMPETITION AND CHOICE
“Our hearings have shown us how lower costs and higher quality of care can be achieved through polices that promote competition and choice.
“One of these policies, will ensure seniors aren’t paying more for drugs depending on where the drug is administered.
“Seniors shouldn’t pay more for the same drug and same level of care in one care setting than another, and this policy is a first step towards broader reform.
“Additionally, patients waiting for a transplant have also suffered from a lack of competition within the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
“These critically ill patients shouldn’t be left waiting longer for a life-saving transplant because of an outdated system and today we will vote on legislation to increase competition and improve the effectiveness of this critical service for some of our most vulnerable patients.
“In closing, I want to express my gratitude for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for how deeply engaged everyone has been on these issues.
“The American people and our health care system will ultimately benefit from your bipartisanship and your leadership.”