Hartzler Co-Sponsors the Lower Costs, More Cures Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) co-sponsored H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which encompasses nearly 50 bipartisan provisions focused on lowering out of pocket drug costs, protecting access to new medicines and cures and working on price transparency in healthcare.
“The rising cost of healthcare is the number one priority facing Missouri families today as quality care slips further out of reach for many across the country. The rising costs of prescription drug prices is one of the major problems families are facing. The Lower Costs, More Cures Act (H.R. 19) is a common-sense bill that encompasses over forty health care reforms supported by both Republicans and Democrats focusing on ways to lower health care costs,” Hartzler said.
“Unlike Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All and Speaker Pelosi’s H.R. 3, this bill does not grant the government total control over our healthcare system, nor does it stifle innovation and limit the availability of lifesaving drugs for families. Instead it focuses on drug costs, transparency and ending unfair practices put forth by drug companies which have led to increased costs,” added Hartzler.
Specifically, H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act:
- Encourages innovation of new cures, promotes more low-cost options for patients and curbs how drug companies can game the system. This includes stopping the establishment of “pay for delay” agreements in which drug companies pay generic manufacturers to keep a generic equivalent off the market. It also gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to approve multiple generic applications of the same drug, resulting in more competition and speeding cures to the market.
- Makes drugs more affordable for seniors by capping out of pocket prescription drug costs at $3100 per year for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D. This includes a “smoothing out” mechanism that would allow seniors to distribute their out of pocket expenses throughout the year, minimizing the cost impact on fixed incomes. The bill further cuts out of pocket spending for seniors getting infusions of drugs like chemotherapy, and lowers the cost of insulin for seniors in Medicare Part D.
- Increases cost transparency and removes uncertainty at the pharmacy by requiring insurance companies to make information about prices available before a prescription is written. This allows a patient the needed information to discuss with their doctor what the most affordable options are for treatment. The legislation also expands online cost estimate tools allowing patients to shop around before purchasing so the know how much they will have to pay before their appointment.
- Stops the subsidizing of other developed countries’ health care by assigning a US Trade Representative negotiator to advocate for the American consumer and make sure other countries are not treating American innovators differently.
“Americans from all walks of life are experiencing the challenges of rising health care costs,” Hartzler said. “It is a bipartisan problem that impacts Democrats, Republicans and Independents. While there are still many aspects of health care reform that need to be addressed, The Lower Costs, More Cures Act is a good start by targeting the high cost of medications. This legislation provides a bipartisan solution that can pass the House, the Senate and be signed into law. It is time Speaker Pelosi brings this comprehensive reform bill to the floor for a vote.”