4 payer groups react to Senate passage of Inflation Reduction Act

In the wake of Senate Democrats passing a $739 billion piece of legislation Aug. 7 that makes major investments in healthcare, taxes and energy, payers across the nation reacted with overall approval.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which heads to the House Aug. 12, will invest $64 billion to extend the Affordable Care Act's premium subsidies through 2025. The bill would also allow Medicare to begin negotiating the prices of certain medications and set a $2,000 annual limit on out-of-pocket costs for drugs paid by individuals with Medicare Part D.

Four statements released by payer groups:

AHIP President and CEO Matt Eyles:
"Every American deserves access to affordable coverage and high-quality care, and the Senate's action will continue vital support that millions of hardworking American families need to purchase their own health coverage in the years to come."

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association President and CEO Kim Keck
"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 move keeps real money in the pocketbooks of Americans and gives them real peace of mind. We look forward to the House passing and the president signing this bill into law and will continue to work with Congress to make healthcare more affordable for everyone."

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure:
"I've traveled around the country and heard from families and health care navigators that the enhanced tax credits have made a difference in obtaining health coverage and actually getting care. And the question I am asked most often is how CMS can make prescription drugs more affordable. The Inflation Reduction Act achieves both these goals. We look forward to Congress sending this bill to the President's desk to sign and CMS is ready to implement."

Alliance of Community Health Plans President and CEO Ceci Connolly:
"The Alliance of Community Health Plans applauds the Senate for passing the Inflation Reduction Act: an important step toward providing relief to families struggling to pay everyday bills. The legislation ensures millions of Americans will retain access to high-quality coverage and care they deserve while reducing the burden of out-of-control drug costs for seniors. For over a year, ACHP's Board has pushed for comprehensive reforms to make therapies more affordable for working families — the only national payer group to do so — and we commend Senate leadership for making this a top priority.

"The drug pricing reforms within this package are a step in the right direction for holding 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 further strain Americans' wallets."

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