By Consumers for Quality Care, on May 25, 2023
For Immediate Release
May 25, 2023
Consumers for Quality Care Applauds Senate Sponsorship of the HELP Copays Act
CQC applauds U.S. Senators Kaine, Marshall, Murkowski, Markey, and Ernst for sponsoring bipartisan legislation to ensure that patients have access to lifesaving health care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) applauded introduction of the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act in the U.S. Senate. This legislation will prioritize patients in the health care system and ensure that Americans have the copay assistance they need to access affordable care.
Introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Joni Ernst (R-IA), this Senate companion bill to House bill H.R.830 will protect consumers from Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ (PBMs) predatory practices and copay accumulator adjustment programs (CAAPs). Currently, CAAPs prevent the value of manufacturer cost sharing coupons to count towards patients’ deductibles, making life-saving medications often unattainable. When patients’ coupons run out, patients are left with unexpected amounts they cannot afford to pay when they try to access medication.
The CQC board issued the following statement on the importance of this legislation:
“Research conducted by Impact Research and Public Opinion Strategies found that 60% of consumers have skipped or delayed the care they need out of concerns of high out-of-pocket costs. Americans need increased health care affordability and access to life-saving treatments without being exploited by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). If passed, the HELP Copays Act would help address these concerns and lower the out-of-pocket costs many consumers face while trying to access the care they need. With only 16 states currently prohibiting copay accumulator adjustment programs (CAAPs), we applaud you for taking action on the federal level to eliminate these costly drivers of high out-of-pocket costs nationwide.”
Read the full letter here.
Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is a coalition of advocates and former policymakers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. CQC is led by a board of directors that includes the Honorable Donna Christensen, physician and former Member of Congress; Jim Manley, former senior advisor to Senators Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid; Jason Resendez, community advocate and health care strategist; and Mary L. Smith, former head of Indian Health Service.