Image courtesy of The 74
The Senate Health Committee has passed a bipartisan bill to help lower healthcare costs for consumers. The bill was worked up by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Washington Democrat Sen. Patty Murray.
Both senators have been working for months on ways to solve the high cost of healthcare in the U.S. In her statement, Murray said, “The steps we are taking on important issues like surprise medical billing, drug prices, maternal mortality, and vaccine hesitancy show we can make progress when both sides are at the table ready to put patients and families first.”
The bill has three dozen specific actions. They range from — as Murray noted — surprise billing to transparency for the cost of drugs and how drug companies provide rebates to pharmacy benefit managers.
They are drug middlemen.
Alexander and Murray hope to have the bill on the Senate floor by this summer — July at the latest — and they want comments from other committee members by June 5th.
President Trump has been told about the bill and he has encouraged action. The administration has offered a number of principles to guide the Senate through this process. The top-priority of the president is surprise medical bills. Doctors and insurers are behind the action.
In other action, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden have been working on a bill to lower drug prices.
Alexander has suggested to Grassley and Wyden that they meld their bill in with the one just crafted by him and Murray.
Source link: The Hill