4 payer groups react to Senate passage of Cut Inflation Act

Following Senate Democrats passing a $739 billion bill on Aug. 7 that includes major investments in health care, taxes and energy, payers across the country reacted with general approval.

The Reducing Inflation Act, which will go to the House on August 12, will invest $64 billion to extend the Affordable Care Act premium subsidies through 2025. The bill would also allow Medicare to begin negotiating prices for certain drugs and set an annual limit of $2,000 on out-of-pocket drug costs for people with Medicare Part D.

Four statements issued by the payer groups:

Matt Eyles, President and CEO of AHIP:
“Every American deserves access to affordable coverage and high-quality care, and Senate action will continue to provide vital support that millions of hard-working American families need to purchase their own health coverage in coming years.”

Kim Keck, President and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
“The Senate’s extension of these tax credits will protect nearly 13 million Americans from cost increases at a time when the price of everything – from gas to groceries – is rising. This decision helps keep real money in the wallets of Americans and gives them real peace of mind. We look forward to the House passing and the President signing this bill and we will continue to work with Congress to make health care health more affordable for all.

Chiquita Brooks-LaSure CMS Administrator:
“I’ve traveled across the country and heard from families and healthcare navigators that enhanced tax credits have made a difference in getting health coverage and getting care. And the question I’m most often asked is how can CMS make prescription drugs more affordable. The Cut Inflation Act accomplishes both of those things. We look forward to Congress sending this bill to the president’s office for signature and that CMS be ready to implement it.

Ceci Connolly, President and CEO of the Community Health Plan Alliance:
“The Alliance of Community Health Plans commends the Senate for passing the Cut Inflation Act: an important step in providing relief to families struggling to pay everyday bills. The legislation ensures that million Americans will retain access to the coverage and high-quality care they deserve while reducing the burden of spiraling drug costs for seniors.For more than a year, the Board of Trustees of the “ACHP has pushed for sweeping reforms to make therapy more affordable for working families — the only national payer group to do so — and we applaud Senate leadership for making it a top priority.

“Medicine pricing reforms under this package are a step in the right direction to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their egregious pricing practices. However, without provisions to penalize pharmaceutical companies for shifting costs to consumers with private health insurance, pharma has a chance to exploit this loophole and put more strain on Americans’ wallets.”

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