A ‘Sick Joke’: Democrats Attack Health Secretary on Pre-existing Conditions

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the health committee, said on Tuesday which she was appalled which the administration refused to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions, one of the most well-liked provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said, “I don’t know of any American who wants to go back to those days when you could be denied coverage or treatment because of pre-existing conditions.”

Republicans repeatedly tried in addition to failed to repeal or roll back the health law last year.

The term “pre-existing conditions” refers not just to serious illnesses like cancer. Before the Affordable Care Act, some insurers denied coverage or charged higher premiums to people with high blood pressure, seasonal allergies, diabetes, arthritis in addition to migraine headaches, among various other conditions. The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated which at least one-fourth of Americans below the age of 65 have conditions which could have made them uninsurable under medical underwriting practices used before the Affordable Care Act.

At a bill-signing ceremony on May 30, Mr. Trump said which major drug companies might, within two weeks, announce “voluntary massive drops in prices.”

Mr. Azar told Congress on Tuesday which might not happen on which schedule.

“We had several drug companies come in who want to execute substantial material reductions in their drug prices,” Mr. Azar said. “They are finding hurdles through pharmacy benefit managers in addition to distributors.”

The benefit managers, he said, make money when drug companies set high list prices because the managers receive rebate payments through drugmakers — a percentage of the list cost — in return for promoting the use of those companies’ products.

“Everybody wins when list prices rise — except for the patient, whose out-of-pocket cost is actually typically calculated based on which cost,” Mr. Azar said. due to This kind of reason, he said, “we may need to move toward a system without rebates, where pharmacy benefit managers in addition to drug companies just negotiate fixed-cost contracts.”