CAHC Responds to Subcommittee Markup of Prescription Drug, Health Exchange Bills

WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2019): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC)  – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded today to the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee's markup of a slate of prescription drug affordability and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace bills. 

The twelve measures advanced by the subcommittee include the CREATES Act, which would improve the availability of generic drugs as well as separate legislation to support state-based reinsurance programs long championed by CAHC. 

The subcommittee also voted to curtail administrative guidance expanding states' ability to lower premiums through Section 1332 waivers and voted to provide an additional $200 million for state marketplaces, though a 2018 CAHC report of state-based exchanges found that over half received grades of "D" or "F."  

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement: 

“CAHC appreciates the subcommittee’s efforts to improve prescription drug affordability and is pleased by its passage of legislation to ease barriers to generic drug development and spur greater competition to lower prices for consumers. CAHC urges the subcommittee to take further steps to address drug pricing challenges while avoiding policies that rely on government control at the expense of access and innovation. For example, the subcommittee could save the healthcare system up to $36 billion annually by eliminating impediments to value-based payment arrangements for prescription drugs."

“We applaud the subcommittee's passage of legislation to bolster state-based reinsurance programs, but CAHC has concerns over proposals that would continue to prop up public exchanges that directly compete with private enrollment tools. What’s more, CAHC cautions Congress against reversing recent Section 1332 waiver guidance, thereby limiting states’ flexibility to enact cost-saving healthcare solutions tailored to the unique needs of their population.”
 
“We look forward to working with lawmakers on these issues as we continue to champion bold, market-driven ideas that improve healthcare affordability and access for all.”

Background:

  • See CAHC Vice President of State Affairs J.P. Wieske's March 6th testimony to the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee here
     

  • See CAHC's March 1st letter to the Senate HELP Committee on policies to lower health costs here.

 

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