March 7, 2018
The Honorable Sander Levin
U.S. House of Representatives
1236 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Levin:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to endorse, H.R. 5150, the “Protecting Medicare from Excessive Price Increases Act.”
This important legislation would enact reforms recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) to reduce rising Medicare Part B drug costs. Part B pays for drugs administered in doctors’ offices such as infused cancer treatments and injectable medicines. According to MedPAC, Medicare Part B drug spending has grown at an average rate of about 9 percent per year to about $26 billion dollars in 2015. These costs are a drain on seniors—who pay 20 percent of Part B’s costs—and on Medicare’s financing.
Among other things, your legislation would help reduce Part B drug costs by requiring drug manufacturers to rebate to the Secretary of HHS the amount by which a drug exceeds an inflation-adjusted average of past sales prices. It also directs the Secretary to reduce an individual’s coinsurance to reflect the amount of the drug after the rebate is applied. These measures will deter drug manufacturers from unjustifiably spiking the cost of Part B drugs and help insulate beneficiaries and taxpayers from the effects of unseemly profiteering.
Thank you for your leadership on this pressing issue. We look forward to working with you to secure enactment of the “Protecting Medicare from Excessive Price Increases Act,” designed to lower seniors’ out-of-pocket costs and help rein in rising drug costs, which threaten Medicare’s sustainability.
President and CEO