FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement attributable to:
Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH
President and CEO
America’s Essential Hospitals
WASHINGTON — We thank Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) and their House colleagues for bipartisan leadership to stop Medicare cuts that threaten access to affordable drugs and health care services for low-income Americans.
Their legislation, H.R. 4392, would place a permanent moratorium on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policy to cut $1.6 billion in Medicare Part B drug reimbursement. This bill’s supporters span the country, demonstrating how this policy jeopardizes care in communities nationwide.
The CMS decision to take support from hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and redistribute their 340B savings to all hospitals—including those not eligible for 340B pricing—is a wrongheaded and futile approach to reducing drug costs, the agency’s stated goal. The change saves nothing due to Medicare budget neutrality rules and likely will increase beneficiary cost-sharing. Worse, it subverts Congress’ clear intent for 340B program savings: to help mission-focused hospitals make the most of their severely limited resources.
The 340B program has enjoyed long-standing bipartisan support, underscored by the recent letters from 228 House members and 57 senators to CMS calling for a halt to the 340B payment policy. We call on all lawmakers to get behind H.R. 4392 and protect the people and communities that depend on essential hospitals.
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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.
Our 325 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care.