U.S. House Votes to Address Spiraling Prescription Drug Costs and Improve Access to Care and Consumer Protections

Contact: Kathy Melley, (617) 791-0708                                                                     

(BOSTON)
-- Statement of Michael Miller, Director of Strategic Policy at Community Catalyst, in response to House passage today of H.R. 987, Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act

“We applaud House members who today voted to pass health care legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable, improve consumers’ ability to access health coverage and protect comprehensive coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions. We also commend Speaker Pelosi and Representatives Pallone, Neal and Scott a for putting forward real health reforms to help address America’s families’ top concerns about their health care – affordability, protections for pre-existing conditions, and the sky-rocketing cost of prescription drugs. Their efforts are a stark contrast to the Trump administration’s relentless campaign to strip people of their health care and pre-existing condition protections.   

“The House bill would put an end to some of the egregious practices of drug companies that protect their monopoly profits by penalizing branded drug makers who withhold samples from generic manufacturers, banning pay-for-delay agreements and limiting first-approved generic drug makers’ ability to stall other rival’s launch. The bill would also help families afford their health care and protect their access to comprehensive coverage, and it would also end the expansion of ‘junk’ short-term insurance plans and Association Health Plans, which provide barebones coverage and allow insurers to freely discriminate based on age and pre-existing conditions. In addition, the legislation would reverse the Trump administration’s dramatic cuts to outreach and enrollment efforts, navigators and consumer assistance programs that help consumers explore their health insurance options and find a plan to meet their needs.

“As consumer advocates we see first-hand the importance of an equitable health system that provides access to affordable, high quality health coverage, and we deeply appreciate the efforts of House leadership and members who supported this bill to move us in that direction. We call on the Senate to follow suit and pass this bill for the good of their constituents and people across the country.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org

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