I believe that all Americans should have access to affordable health care.
Alternative ApproachesObamacare has proven that it is not the solution to expand access and lower costs, which is why I support repealing the current law and replacing it with less costly and less burdensome alternatives. Commonsense alternatives would spur competition by allowing individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines, and it would rein in the growth of health care costs by adopting medical liability reform that protects patients and doctors from expensive lawsuits. Additionally, this approach would expand the ability for families and individuals to deduct their health care costs, while providing federal grants for state-based, high risk pools, and safeguarding individuals who have pre-existing conditions with limits on participants’ charges.
Prescription Drug TherapiesThere is no question Americans pay too much for health care, including the cost of prescription drugs. As you may know, U.S. prescription drug use has grown substantially during the past several decades as researchers have developed groundbreaking therapies. In fact, $333 billion was spent on prescription drugs in 2017 alone. Unfortunately, current law has restricted patient options for doctors and drugs, and bad actors have recently used a complicated regulatory system to retain a monopoly on drug supply and prevent competition in the market. The result is far too often financially crippling for families.
While it is important that we address the safety, quality, and access of our medications, we must ensure that the solutions to these public health concerns are addressing the true issue and not creating a massive overreach of the federal government that will stifle future drug research and development. Prescription drug pricing has been a priority in Congress with several bills introduced in the House. H.R. 3253, the Sustaining Excellence in Medicaid Act of 2019, was signed by the President and became public law on August 8, 2019. This bill excluded authorized generics from the calculation of average manufacturer price for purposes of the Medicaid drug rebate program.
H.R. 965, the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act of 2019, was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) on Feburary 5, 2019. If enacted, this bill would promote competition in the market for drug and biological products by facilitating the timely entry of lower-cost generic and biosimilar versions of those drugs and biological products, while penalizing branded drug makers that withhold samples from generic manufactures.
Health Insurance Tax
During the last (115th) Congress, the House of Representatives voted to fully repeal the health insurance tax on May 4, 2017, when we passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, with my support. Then, on July 25, 2018, the House passed H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, also with my support. The latter bill, if enacted, would have delayed reimposition of the tax until after December 31, 2021. Unfortunately, both efforts died in the Senate.
This Congress, I proudly co-sponsored H.R. 1398, the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act of 2019, which was introduced by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) on February 27, 2019. The bill would delay the reimposition of the health insurance tax until after 2021. The bill has been referred to the House Committees on Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce, and subsequently to each committee’s Subcommittee on Health, where it awaits further action.
For more information concerning my work and views on Health Care, please contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.