Subject: Protect and safeguard Medicare drug benefits
The quality of health care in America hinges on our commitment to improving and safeguarding vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. The first 100 days of the Biden Administration will set the tone for access to health care to the country's most vulnerable populations. Under the new Biden Administration, we need to prioritize policies that improve affordability and spur innovative research and development of new life-saving medicines.
In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, our representatives must put an end to President Trump's Most Favored Nation policy, which would disproportionately hurt patients with severe illnesses and disabilities by relying on discriminatory quality-adjusted life year assessments that negatively impact seniors.
President Biden should reverse the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) proposal under the Trump Administration that would allow participating Medicare plans to not cover all drugs in the six protected classes. The six protected classes under Medicare Part D - immunosuppressants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, and antineoplastics - ensure access to all treatments for epilepsy, cancer, chronic conditions, HIV, and mental illness. The changes in the model drastically reduce the medication options available to Medicare beneficiaries, even forcing patients stable on therapy to change their treatment plans or medications.
I urge Congress to pass comprehensive legislation that limits how much people on Medicare pay for their prescription medications so they can get life-saving medicines without going bankrupt. At the same time Congress should not let other countries determine what drugs Americans should have access to by adopting foreign reference pricing. Any reforms to pricing mechanisms should result in direct reductions where patients feel it most: out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter. Congress and the Biden administration should ensure that patients are the ones benefiting from the drug rebates.
I support legislation that not only caps annual out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Part D but also ensures the patient taking the drug benefits from the rebates and discounts associated with the drug, and expands the low-income subsidy in Medicare Part D. I also support legislation that eliminates surprise medical bills, and reduces the number of copays we regularly face.