Stabilizing the Individual Marketplace
The Affordable Care Act has helped 20 million people access quality health care, many for the first time in their lives. Medicaid expansion has been an unqualified success in red and blue states. But we have to face facts: some folks in the individual marketplace have seen their premiums and deductibles increase significantly due to an imbalance in the marketplace and uncertainty caused by this new administration. Legislating on health care—an area that’s incredibly personal and complex—takes time and effort. During the 115th Congress, I spent time talking with health care experts, providers, and patients, before leading a bipartisan group of my colleagues in the House to work on real solutions. In July, 2017 we introduced a five-point proposal that aims squarely at stabilizing and improving the individual market—our's was the first plan out of either chamber of Congress with such a goal. If we are serious about making health care affordable for everyone, let’s direct our focus on stabilizing the marketplace.
Read about my Bipartisan Market Stabilization and Innovation Act.
Lowering Drug Costs
Every few months it seems we see new headlines about another extreme drug price hike. Some unscrupulous CEO buys the rights to produce a drug that has been on the market for decades, usually where there are no competitors, and they raise the price astronomically overnight. In so many of these stories, the drug has been off patent for years, but there isn’t a generic version on the market. Generic drug manufacturers may want to bring a generic version to the market, but they face a long approval process, steep costs, and a whole lot of uncertainty. We know that having generic versions on the market keeps the cost of drugs down for everyone, and prevent those unscrupulous actors from reaping exorbitant profit margins. It’s been proven time and again.
That’s exactly why I worked with my colleague from across the aisle, Congressman Gus Bilirakis, to pass legislation to lower drug costs by bringing more generics to market faster by increasing opportunities for quicker FDA approval, especially where there are few alternatives. While there's more work to be done to lower drug costs, I’m very pleased that our bill passed out of Congress, without opposition in the House, and that we were able to take this step closer to bringing down costs and making life-saving drugs more affordable.