Allen Votes to Lower Health Care Costs, Improve Price Transparency

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. This bipartisan package increases price transparency throughout the health care system, addresses the rising cost of prescription drugs, and supports patients, health care workers, community health centers, and hospitals. Upon passage of H.R. 5378, Congressman Allen issued the following statement:

"During my time in Congress, I have long advocated for restoring patient-centered, cost-effective, and market-driven solutions to our nation’s health care system to drive down costs. For too long, families have faced the financial burden of unexpected medical bills, overly expensive prescription drugs, limited health care choices, and hidden fees.

"In nearly every other industry, consumers know the price of a product before purchasing it. Health care should be no different. H.R. 5378 delivers this much-needed transparency and ensures Americans have access to timely, quality, and affordable health care that suits them best.

"As a businessman, ensuring my employees had access to affordable health care was always a priority of mine. By lowering costs and empowering patients and employers to make informed decisions, more Americans will have confidence in their coverage, leading to a healthier future."

More specifically, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act:

  • Empowers patients and employers to shop for health care and make informed health care decisions by requiring timely and accurate information about the cost of care, treatment, and services from hospitals
  • 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 cost of prescription drugs
  • Lowers out-of-pocket costs for seniors who receive medication at a hospital-owned outpatient facility or doctor’s office by ensuring the cost of medication under Medicare remains the same no matter where it is administered
  • Equips employers with the drug price information they need to get the best deal possible for their employees
  • Funds Community Health Centers, which are crucial for patients in rural and underserved areas

BACKGROUND: As a Member of the Healthy Future Task Force, Congressman Allen played a key role in developing solutions included in H.R. 5378 to modernize America's health care system to lower costs, keep Americans healthy, and provide Americans with more health care choices. H.R. 5378 contains bills from all three House Committees with jurisdiction over the health care sector, including the two committees that Congressman Allen serves on; the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Included in the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is legislation Congressman Allen cosponsored, the PATIENT Act, to require hospitals to make all standard charges for services publicly available and require pharmacies to report actual acquisition costs for drugs. Specifically included is a provision Congressman Allen co-led to put an end to spread pricing practices in Medicaid, which will save taxpayers billions, ensure pharmacies are reimbursed transparently and fairly, and establish effective oversight of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) tactics that threaten patient access to healthcare.

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