House Ways & Means Committee Incorporates Schneider Bills into H.R. 3, Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019
Yesterday, the U.S. House Committee on Ways & Means marked up H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, and incorporated health legislation first introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10).
“Tackling the high cost of drugs for my constituents is one of my top priorities, and H.R.3 is a sweeping reform that will bring real prescription pricing relief to our communities,” said Schneider. “I am grateful that legislation I introduced earlier in this Congress to help low-income seniors better afford prescription drugs, as well as my bill to better evaluate the effectiveness of career pathway grants, will get a vote by the full House as part of H.R. 3. I thank my colleagues for their support and look forward to continuing to work with them to pass this critical bill.”
Included in H.R. 3 are provisions to help low-income seniors better afford their prescription drugs through Medicare Part D. Schneider previously introduced H.R. 4583, The Medicare Extra Rx HELP (Higher Eligibility Limits in Part D) Act on this topic, which would eliminate the restrictive asset test in the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (also known as “Extra Help”) to help more Americans access the benefit, as well as substantially expand eligibility for the program. Both of these improvements are included in H.R. 3.
The Committee also voted to include Schneider’s bill, H.R. 3767, the Impacts and Outcomes for Health Career Training Act, within the broader legislative package. The legislation addresses Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOGs), which are “career pathway” grants bundling education, training, and key support services for well-paid and in-demand health professions, especially in rural and urban areas that need more workers. Schneider’s bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to monitor the effectiveness of HPOG grants to ensure the funds are having the greatest impact.