Legislation Would Cap Out-of-Pocket Prescription Drug Costs for Medicare Part D Beneficiaries
Click here to view a video of Senator Hassan’s statement before the Senate Finance Committee’s vote.
WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today helped advance major bipartisan legislation through the Senate Finance Committee on one of her top priorities: lowering the cost of prescription drugs. The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act would enact a cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and crack down on pharmaceutical companies that raise drug prices higher than inflation. The bill would save Medicare beneficiaries more than $30 billion in premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and would save taxpayers $100 billion in Medicare and Medicaid spending.
The bipartisan bill has been endorsed by the White House as well as patient groups including AARP, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, and Patients for Affordable Drugs Now.
“While Granite Staters wrestle with agonizing financial choices to afford life-saving medications, big pharmaceutical companies report ever higher profits. Yet for far too long, Washington has failed to act. Today, we will begin to change that,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan bill will help control the cost of drugs and lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries by creating an out-of-pocket cap so seniors won’t go into bankruptcy because of their prescription drug costs. It will also put downward pressure on the price of medication for all patients.”
“While this bipartisan bill is an important step forward, we have far more work to do, and I will keep fighting for additional policies – including, crucially, allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices – to ensure that all Americans can afford the care they need,” Senator Hassan added.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that over ten years the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act would:
· Save taxpayers $85 billion in Medicare spending
· Save Medicare beneficiaries $27 billion in out-of-pocket costs
· Save Medicare beneficiaries $5 billion in premiums
· Save taxpayers $15 billion in Medicaid spending
The bill also includes a bipartisan measure authored by Senator Hassan to save taxpayers over $3 billion by closing a loophole that has allowed drug companies to overcharge states for drugs in the Medicaid program, as well as a measure to increase transparency around methods pharmaceutical companies use to push patients toward higher cost drugs in order to drive up drugmakers’ profits.