Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced legislation Friday to increase transparency in drug pricing and lower the cost of prescription drugs for American consumers.
Sen. Scott, a freshman conservative Republican, announced the Transparency Drug Pricing Act, which would promote transparency in drug pricing.
Scott said in a statement Friday:
American consumers are facing a crisis of rising drug costs and we can’t wait any longer. I urge every Senator to put themselves in the shoes of a family or a senior living on a fixed income who’s seen their drug costs triple in just a few years. This is about the lives of real people that hang in the balance.
Sen. Scott’s legislation arises as President Donald Trump promised this week that the Republican Party will become the party of “health care.” The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday that it would side with a ruling from a Texas judge invalidating Obamacare, which would eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
President Trump reportedly tapped Sens. Scott, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and John Barrasso (R-WY), who serves as the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, to create a new and dynamic healthcare plan.
The Florida Republican continued:
Every American should know exactly what their prescriptions cost and it’s unfair that consumers in other countries get a better deal than patients in America. That must change. There is no justification for waiting, we need to address the soaring costs of prescription drugs right now. Drug prices are a serious problem – a problem Washington should have addressed long ago.
Scott’s legislation has three components: price transparency, increased choice for consumers, and increased pricing fairness.
The legislation would require that pharmacies inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance and co-pay. Often times, Americans can pay for drugs at a lower cost out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance plan.
The bill stipulates that if the patient were to pay with cash instead of their insurance, the total cost would apply to their health insurance deductible limit.
“Consumers should not be penalized for shopping for the best price,” Scott’s office wrote in a press release Friday. “And they must get this information at the point of sale.”
The second part of the legislation would require insurance companies to inform patients of the total costs of their prescription drugs 60 days prior to open enrollment, which Scott contends would allow patients to find the best deal for their prescriptions. Once the costs are set, the bill would freeze the prescription drug costs for 12 months.
“This will give patients– particularly seniors living on a fixed income– confidence their drug costs won’t suddenly increase,” Scott’s office explained.
The former governor’s legislation would also block drug companies from charging Americans more for prescriptions drugs than they charge in other industrialized nations such as Great Britain, Canada, or Germany. This provision would sunset after five years.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) spoke with Breitbart News an extensive interview on Republicans’ failure to provide a credible alternative to Obamacare and Medicare for All, adding that if they fail to provide solutions to America’s healthcare woes, then Medicare for All will win.
The Hoosier Republican said that the GOP needs new Republicans such as Sen. Scott who have a “completely fresh look at things.”
Noting that Scott managed to revive a failing hospital chain, Sen. Braun said, “You can see with Rick Scott, who ran a hospital chain and turned around the bleak budget of Florida, there’s at least a few more of us who are here in terms of reforming health care.”
Braun said that the GOP could not become the party of “health care” “unless we get more folks like myself and Rick Scott who come here with a completely fresh look.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.