Committee Leaders Announce Call for Comments on Bipartisan Medicare Part D Drug Pricing Legislation
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), along with Ranking Members Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Greg Walden (R-OR) announced the solicitation for comments on draft legislation to reform and improve the Medicare Part D program that would establish an out-of-pocket cap for Medicare beneficiaries.
“Medicare Part D has helped tens of millions of seniors and individuals with disabilities access life-saving therapies,” said the members. “However, some Medicare beneficiaries across the country are facing high out-of-pocket costs for many medications, including insulin, even with Part D coverage. Already this Congress, our committees have held several hearings with patients and experts from across the political spectrum to discuss options to lower prescription drug prices. Universally these witnesses agreed that Medicare Part D can and should be improved to cap out-of-pocket spending, and lower costs both for the patients and for the Medicare program. That’s why today we are unveiling a draft bipartisan proposal that would cap out-of-pocket expenses for seniors while also driving down costs for taxpayers. If enacted, this proposal would provide certainty to seniors that they will be protected should they need high-cost medications.”
The members’ draft legislation would improve the Medicare Part D prescription drug program for beneficiaries and taxpayers alike. Specifically, the draft would create an out-of-pocket maximum on prescription drugs costs for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D based on the current catastrophic threshold. The bill would also right-size and modernize the incentive structure for Part D plans to better manage costs by reducing the government’s share of the catastrophic coverage from 80 percent to 20 percent over four years. The Committee Leaders have also solicited comments on other policies to modernize the Part D benefit structure.
Additional information about the draft legislation and the full solicitation for comments can be viewed HERE.
The deadline for submission of comments is close of business Thursday, June 6, 2019.