Saving $$ on Rx - Lowering Prescription Drug Costs!
As always, I appreciate you letting me bring you this brief update. It is an honor representing you!
This past Wednesday, the President signed into law two important bipartisan consumer bills, which I supported. The two bills, S. 2553, ‘Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018’, and S. 2554, the ‘Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act’ will lift what many local pharmacists describe as a ‘gag clause’ that prevented them from informing their customers how to lower their out of pocket costs when getting their prescriptions filled.
S. 2553, “Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018” amends title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prohibit Medicare Part D plans from giving complete information regarding the prices of specific drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. S. 2554, the “Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act” will end that practice and make the information publicly available. In some instances, for example, it can actually cost less to pay out of pocket for a prescription than it would to have it run through their health insurance policy yet pharmacists, prior to the passage of this legislation, were not allowed to give that information to consumers.
Consumers deserve the right to make fully informed decisions and withholding information regarding the cost of their prescription drugs is simply wrong. Th bills passed the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote and the Senate on a 98-2 vote.
| Rep. Mike Coffman met with Selena, manager of Gem Pharmacy in
Littleton, CO, following the passage of S. 2553 and S.2554
Another example what we can do for the good of our country when we work together in Congress was the final passage of H.R. 6, the ‘SUPPORT for Patients of Communities Act.’ This landmark legislation is the latest effort to combat the opioid crisis and it follows up on the passage of the ‘Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act’ and the ‘21st Century Cures Act’ last Congress. H.R. 6 includes key language to set up the programs to spend the $4 billion appropriated in fiscal year 2018 to help combat the opioid crisis, as well as the $6 billion included in the recent Defense-Labor-HHS appropriations package to boost programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse and provide better access to mental health services. Taken together, this package represents the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history.
I am also very pleased that H.R. 6, the “SUPPORT for Patients of Communities Act” included legislation, H.R. 4635, the ‘Peer-2-Peer Counseling Act,’ that I introduced in the House Veterans Affairs Committee earlier this year. H.R. The ‘Peer-2-Peer Counseling Act,’ will ensure the Veterans’ Administration’s (VA) existing peer-to-peer counseling program will be expanded to increase the number of female peer counselors to better serve the increasing numbers of female veterans. As our female veteran population continues to increase because women are approaching 20% of the active duty force, the VA will have to adjust the way it operates to accommodate when they leave active duty and become eligible for VA services.
The VA’s 2016 suicide data report found that “the risk of suicide was 2.4 times higher among female veterans when compared with civilian adult females,” so we clearly need to improve the quality and availability of counseling services for them. As a Marine Corps combat veteran and a member of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, making sure that our veterans receive the services they need has always been a priority for me.
Finally, I wanted to remind you that if you need help with a federal agency, my office is here to help. If you have a question personal regarding social security, Medicare/Medicaid or immigration, please contact our Aurora office at 720-748-7514, and one of our casework managers will assist you. I also invite you to visit my website or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get the most up-to-date news as they happen.