ROSEN, WARREN INTRODUCE BILL TO LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS, CAP OUT-OF-POCKET COPAYS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (NV-03) announced the introduction of the bicameral Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018 with Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT). This bill would tackle the problem of high drug costs that families face by placing a monthly cap on their out-of-pocket drug costs. These caps would apply to individuals and families covered by ACA exchange plans or any group health plan, including employer-sponsored plans. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate along with Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Patty Murray (D-WA).
"I hear from constituents every week who are concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs, leaving them wondering how they will afford their medications," said Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV). "This legislation will help rein in prices for many Nevadans by capping out-of-pocket prescription drug copay costs for anyone on the exchange. I'm proud to introduce this bill in the House that will help us hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable and bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Nevada’s hardworking families.”
“With prescription drug prices soaring over the past decade, it is time we took real action to protect families from out-of-pocket costs,” said Senator Warren (D-MA). “I’m proud to partner with my colleagues on a bill to tackle this piece of the drug pricing problem.”
“Prescription drugs cure illnesses, relieve pain, and save lives. But skyrocketing prices are putting them out of reach for consumers,” said Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT). “By capping monthly out-of-pocket prescription costs, this legislation will provide urgently needed relief for hardworking Americans struggling to pay for the medicine they need.”
BACKGROUND: The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs is one of the most critical issues facing American families. According to recent government estimates, prescription drug spending is projected to increase faster than many other categories of major health expenditures–due in large part to increases in the prices of these drugs. Individuals with life-threatening or chronic conditions that require high-cost specialty drugs – conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, hepatitis or HIV/AIDS – may face thousands of dollars a month in out-of-pocket costs.
The Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018 takes meaningful steps to address the problem of high drug costs by placing a monthly limit on what consumers pay in out of-pocket drug costs. The legislation caps prescription drug copays at $250 per month for individuals and $500 per month for families. The bill, which applies to all group health plans and individual market plans, also ensures that individuals and families with high prescription drug costs are protected and can access necessary medications.
Last year, Rosen sent a letter with six other House Members urging the Trump Administration to create a bipartisan task force to investigate rising prescription drug costs.
Rosen is a co-sponsor of H.R.3258, the Marketplace Certainty Act, a bill that would immediately address market instability by controlling costs and help keep insurers from exiting the Silver State Exchange. The bill funds cost-sharing reductions provided by the Affordable Care Act, which would help drive down premiums costs and make insurance plans more affordable for consumers. Rosen is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 635, the CHOICE Act, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to offer a nationwide public health insurance option that provides value, choice, competition, and the stability of affordable, high-quality coverage financed through premiums, rather than taxpayer dollars.