Draft bill reflects key CAHC recommendations for confronting surprise medical bills, spurring prescription drug competition, and addressing hospital monopolies
WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2019): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – applauded the unveiling of the draft Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 today by Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA).
The draft legislation upholds key recommendations from CAHC's March 2019 letter to the committee by providing a pathway to confront surprise medical bills, spurring prescription drug competition, and addressing hospital monopolies.
CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:
"With healthcare spending continuing to grow faster than wages or inflation and an estimated 30 percent of these dollars wasted, the need for bipartisan action to lower health costs is clear. In this draft bill, Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray have delivered a set of thoughtful, substantive solutions that will inject competition into the marketplace and demonstrably alter the health cost curve."
"CAHC commends the Senators' inclusion of our recommendations to confront uncompetitive hospital markets by cracking down on unfair contracting practices that tilt the playing field against consumers. The measure additionally takes needed steps to improve prescription drug affordability by preventing the blocking of lower-cost generic products and ensuring timely FDA review of new therapies."
"We also appreciate the draft bill's roadmap of solutions to address the injustice of surprise medical bills. We agree with Chairman Alexander and the Trump administration that binding arbitration is the wrong way to resolve these surprise bills. This shadowy and unaccountable process would be the IPAB of hospital billing and an administrative nightmare for all involved. We urge the committee to pursue other transparent, market-based means of settling surprise bills, as outlined in the legislation."
See an explainer on CAHC-led provisions of the draft Lower Health Care Costs Act HERE.