This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). This landmark bill takes significant steps to rein in high and rising prescription drug prices and lower costs for people with Medicare, including authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices for certain drugs and capping beneficiary out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 per year.
These and other provisions are expected to save nearly $500 billion over 10 years. The bill would reinvest some of these savings back into Medicare to strengthen and expand the program. Through these investments, H.R. 3 would add comprehensive dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Part B; ease access to Medicare’s low-income assistance programs; and establish new Medigap enrollment rights—achieving historic coverage and affordability gains for current and future beneficiaries.
As part of any drug pricing package, Medicare Rights has been urging lawmakers to modernize the Medicare Part D appeals process. We are pleased that H.R. 3 advances this goal by directing plans to track and publicly disclose instances of and enrollee experiences with point-of-sale rejections, including any appeals that may result. This data will fill long-standing information gaps, increase systemic transparency and plan accountability, and inform future policymaking.
The Medicare Rights Center strongly supports H.R. 3. The bill’s transformational improvements and investments are critical to ensuring people with Medicare have meaningful access to affordable health care and prescription drug coverage.
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