Washington, D.C. – Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ (WA-05) Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (H.R 5378). This legislation is a major bipartisan achievement that will drive down the cost of care through price transparency, empowering patients to shop for the right care, at the right time, at a price they can afford.
The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act was drafted by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), and Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC).
Chair Rodgers released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5378 by a vote of 320-71.
“This bipartisan legislation delivers on our commitment to lowering health care costs and providing increased transparency for patients—something 95 percent of Americans support,” said Rodgers. “It helps Americans save money on out-of-pocket expenses and seniors save millions on medicines through important Medicare payment reforms. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and support of the legislation and urge the Senate to consider it without delay,” said Chair Rodgers.
Specifically, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act:
Increases Price Transparency Throughout the Health Care System for Patients
- Empowers patients and employers to shop for health care and make informed health care decisions by providing timely and accurate information about the cost of care, treatment, and services.
- Makes health care price information public by ensuring hospitals, insurance companies, labs, imaging providers, and ambulatory surgical centers publicly list the prices they charge patients, building upon the Trump administration price transparency rules.
- Lowers costs for patients and employers by requiring health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to disclose negotiated drug rebates and discounts, revealing the true costs of prescription drugs
Addresses the Cost of Prescription Drugs
- Lowers out-of-pocket costs for seniors who receive medication at a hospital-owned outpatient facility.
- Expands access to more affordable generic drugs.
- Equips employer health plans with the drug price information they need to get the best deal possible for their employees.
Supports Patients, Health Care Workers, Community Health Centers, and Hospitals
- Fully pays for expiring programs that strengthen the health care system by supporting Community Health Centers and training programs for new doctors in communities, as well as preserving Medicaid for hospitals that take care of uninsured and low-income patients.
Click here or the image above to watch Cathy’s remarks on the House floor this evening.
“We all know that health care is too expensive, and the system is far too complicated.
“In the Energy and Commerce Committee, we’ve heard countless stories about real patients who were victims of an opaque system and were on the hook for staggering amounts of money for seeing a doctor, going to a hospital, or getting medicine.
“We heard about a patient that tried to shop for her care and was billed thousands of dollars more than what she was quoted. We heard about a patient who was overcharged eleven thousand dollars by a hospital for services she didn’t receive. And, we heard moving testimony from cancer patient advocates about policies we can enact right now to lower their drug costs.
“The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act includes these and other policies that would directly help all these patients. It lowers costs for Americans through increased health care price transparency. It ensures that senior citizens on Medicare never pay more for a drug because of where it is administered. And, it makes drug prices transparent to help patients and employers get the best deal possible on medicines.
“Over 90% of Americans support increased price transparency in health care, and, by passing this bill, we will be delivering results people are counting on. Further, CBO confirms that the bill would save taxpayers more than 700 million dollars over the next decade.
“In sum, this bill is a legislative opportunity: bipartisan, regular order, and fully paid for. It advances foundational health care reforms for patients, lowers health care costs, and reduces the deficit.
“I urge all my colleagues to support the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, and I reserve the balance of my time.”
CLICK HERE to read the full bill text.
CLICK HERE for a section-by-section of the bill.