WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Finance Committee recently voted on a drug pricing and mental health legislative package that contained provisions from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to protect …
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Finance Committee recently voted on a drug pricing and mental health legislative package that contained provisions from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to protect seniors from high drug costs and save rural hospitals from funding cuts.
“We have an obligation to ensure that health care is affordable and accessible for everyone across our nation,” said Casey. “This legislative package will help meet that obligation by protecting seniors from high drug costs and saving rural hospitals from devastating cuts.”
The package included Casey’s Protecting Seniors from High Drug Costs Act, which he introduced with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) earlier this year.
The bill could help bring down drug costs by prohibiting health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from charging Medicare Part D beneficiaries more in cost-sharing than the net cost of the drug.
It hopes to lower cost-sharing for patients and help them afford all the prescriptions they need while ensuring that PBMs and plans are not engaging in unfair practices.
The package also included a provision to delay impending cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program, which helps offset uncompensated care costs for hospitals that provide care to large numbers of Medicaid beneficiaries and uninsured patients.
The program faced more than $8 billion in cuts just for the next fiscal year, which would have undermined the financial viability of many of the nation’s safety net hospitals and threatened access to care, according to a news release.
Also included in the package was an extension of funding for outreach and assistance to low-income Medicare beneficiaries through State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIPs).
The full list of legislation in the package can be found at www.bit.ly/40y9J4t. The package now can move to the Senate floor.
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