The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act

People need and want more affordable health care. The bipartisan Lower Costs, More Transparency Act will help people get access to the right care, at the right time, at a price they can afford. The bill is led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), and House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC).

The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act:

  • Increases price transparency throughout the health care system
  • Addresses the cost of prescription drugs
  • Supports patients, health care workers, community health centers, and hospitals

Chair Rodgers: “More than 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. It means they are just one medical bill away from a financial emergency. One doctor visit away from not being able to pay their rent, for their groceries, or gas. 

“A recent poll of Americans with health insurance found more than half ranked ‘reducing health care costs’ as their top health care policy priority. For a more secure and healthier future, people need more certainty and stability.” 

The Latest

Support for the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act

Jul 11, 2023
In the News
Nearly 90 Percent of Americans Support Health Care Price Transparency

Bipartisan PATIENT Act Gains Momentum as Experts Voice Support

Americans want more health care transparency and lower prices. The bipartisan PATIENT Act, led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), will help Americans get access to the right care, at the right time, at a price they can afford.

Solutions in the PATIENT Act—like increasing price transparency and addressing the cost of prescription drugs—are supported by the vast majority of Americans. Nearly 90% of Americans support strengthening price transparency requirements and nearly 85% of Americans favor solutions that prevent them from having to pay more for their prescription drugs than their insurance company.

Check out the below opinion pieces featured in Newsweek and RealClear Policy for more on support of the PATIENT Act.

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Last month, the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously reported out The Patient Act (H.R. 3561), which would require hospitals and health insurance companies to post the true prices of their medical services. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) are sponsoring this legislation, one of six bipartisan committee measures to help patients and improve the functioning of the nation's troubled health care markets. 

Today, few health care policy proposals attract broad bipartisan support. Health care price transparency, however, is one of those rare "unicorns." In this case, the bipartisanship has been given a boost, because the Biden administration has largely embraced and continued the Trump administration's groundbreaking regulatory efforts to require hospitals and health insurance companies to reveal their real prices. 

Nearly 90 percent of Americans support health care price transparency, Washington has a golden opportunity to improve the lives of millions of Americans through a more affordable and competitive health care marketplace. In a recent report for The Heritage Foundation, we outlined several policy options for Congress to consider, which would benefit all Americans. 

CLICK HERE to continue reading more from David N. Bernstein and Robert E. Moffit in Newsweek.

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Next up: The PATIENT Act (Promoting Access to Treatments and Increasing Extremely Needed Transparency Act) to tackle health care costs by increasing transparency and competition. After numerous hearings, the bill passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee 49-0, and a House floor vote is expected in July. Here is a section-by-section summary.

One reason for this progress is that the legislative process is going through “regular order” for the first time in years.

That means that a Member proposes a legislative idea, hearings are held, and the relevant subcommittee considers and reports the bill to the full committee. The full committee then debates the measure and, if approved, it goes to the Floor for a vote, after passing through the Rules Committee which decides the process for offering amendments.

This is what’s happening now, straight out of Civics 101.

CLICK HERE to continue reading from Grace-Marie Turner in RealClear Policy.

Dive deeper on the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act:

Increases Price Transparency Throughout the Health Care System for Patients

  • Empowers patients to shop for health care and make informed health care decisions by providing timely and accurate information about the cost of care, treatment, and services
  • Requires health care price information from hospitals, insurance companies, labs, imaging providers, and ambulatory surgical centers to publicly list the prices they charge patients, building upon the Trump administration price transparency rules 
  • Lowers costs for patients and employers by requiring health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to disclose negotiated drug rebates and discounts, revealing the true costs of prescription drugs 

Addresses the Cost of Prescription Drugs

  • Lowers out-of-pocket costs for seniors who receive medication at a hospital-owned outpatient facility or doctor’s office 
  • Expands access to more affordable generic drugs 
  • Equips employers with the drug price information they need to get the best deal possible for their employees 

Supports Patients, Health Care Workers, Community Health Centers, and Hospitals

  • Fully pays for continuing programs that strengthen the health care system by: 
  • Funding Community Health Centers, which are crucial for patients in rural and underserved areas 
  • Supporting training programs for new doctors in communities  
  • Preserving Medicaid funding for hospitals that take care of uninsured and low-income patients  
  • Extending funding for research to find better treatments and a cure for diabetes, which affects more than 37 million Americans