December 13, 2019

Crapo, Toomey Introduce Measure to Lower Drug Costs for Seniors

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) are working to lower the price some seniors pay for prescription drugs when they go to the pharmacy. 

“Medicare Part D is a successful program, operating on the free-market principles of choice and competition,” said Senator Crapo.  “Our legislation would build on that proven foundation by expanding the number of plan options and incentivizing innovative benefit designs.  When we empower patients to make decisions, they can select the health care plan that best fits their needs.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to advance policies that would lower drug prices, expand patient access to lifesaving medicines and encourage biopharmaceutical innovation.” 

“Medicare’s prescription drug program limits insurers from providing seniors with plans that best fit their needs,” said Senator Toomey.  “My bill with Senator Crapo aims to address this by encouraging insurers to develop and offer a greater variety of prescription drug plans to seniors.” 

The Encouraging Innovative Benefit Design to Lower Costs for Seniors Act, introduced this week by Senators Toomey and Crapo, would meaningfully reduce costs at the pharmacy for seniors who need it most, without increasing costs for those who don’t, by:

  • Requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase the maximum number of plan options from three to at least four plans in each region; and
  • Allowing Medicare Part D sponsors to offer two additional plans provided that at least one of them passes on rebates to the consumer. 

A one-pager on the legislation can be found here