CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 987 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 987

May 16, 2019

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Member,

You will soon consider H.R. 987, the MORE Health Education Act, which combines four bills that address pharmaceuticals and would overturn rules the Trump administration has implemented that provides more choice for consumers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare. On behalf of our more than 1 million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I ask that you oppose this bill.

While CCAGW would rather see Congress enact a viable alternative to ACA, such as the Health Care Choices Proposal, our organization supports short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI) and Association Health Plans (AHPs). The STLDI plans provide more choice for individuals and families shopping for affordable health insurance, often saving them thousands of dollars in insurance premium costs. AHPs have made it simpler for small business to band together and access less-expensive health coverage, providing insurance to approximately 96 million Americans. CCAGW opposes the changes H.R. 987 would make to STLDI plans and AHPs.

H.R. 987 would also revive the wasteful Navigator program, which enrolled less than 1 percent of Healthcare.gov customers in 2017. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Navigator grantees enrolled a small number of people at high cost that sometimes exceeded a person’s annual premium. That money can be better spent.

CCAGW is also opposed to the “Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act,” which would forbid patent settlements, and the “Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics Act,” which would weaken the 180-day exclusivity time for the first-approved generic drug.

The Federal Trade Commission reviews more than 140 patent settlement agreements each year and has found the vast majority of these agreements do not delay generic competition. Weakening the Hatch-Waxman Act by changing the 180-day exclusivity will discourage generic companies from challenging a brand name company’s patent. This means longer delays in consumers getting access to a generic drug that will compete head on with a brand name drug.

Again, I urge you to reject H.R. 987. All votes on this bill will be among those considered for CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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