Lawmakers map out path forward on Medicare Part D

Lawmakers map out path forward on Medicare Part D
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Rep. Doris MatsuiDoris Okada MatsuiLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Lobbying World House bill would make World Cup funds contingent on equal pay MORE (D-Calif.) and Rep. Brett GuthrieSteven (Brett) Brett GuthrieOvernight Health Care — Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Poll finds Trump vulnerable on health care in battleground states | HHS must respond to petition on abortion referral ban by Thursday | Wyden presses health officials about CBD regulations Lawmakers map out path forward on Medicare Part D The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations MORE (R-Ky.) put forward their ideas for improving Medicare Part D during an event on Tuesday at a time when seniors are facing rising out-of-pocket costs and fewer options for affordable medications. 

“My fix is that you have to look at the whole thing, and this is a shared responsibility," Matsui told moderator Steve Clemons at The Hill's "Cost, Quality and Care: The Medicare Equation" event, sponsored by Astellas Pharma US. 

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"The federal government can’t just offload it on to the beneficiaries, or to the plans to the manufacturers. We are all in this together," she continued.

Matsui, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pointed to the issue surrounding the rising cost of single-source drugs, which are brand name drugs that do not have a generic alternative.

"The market can only go a certain distance. For instance, with high-cost drugs, for particularly those particularly terribly ill, many of them [drugs] are single-source," she said. "In many cases, the beneficiary pays a certain amount, and then the plans are responsible. So we really feel that something there is wrong in a sense there's no competition there, so it only goes a certain length of time." 

As part of his path forward on the program, Guthrie suggested moving forward on the issue of generic drugs as a part of the Medicare program. 

“A lot of it is how do we get generics adopted quicker and how do we add generics to the market place quicker," Guthrie, who also is on the Energy and Commerce Committee, told The Hill's editor-in-chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy Politicon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus The Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Why Yang won't run third party MORE in a separate interview. 

The congressman struck a bipartisan tone when asked about any potential agreement, saying we could see progress as soon as this fall. 

"This fall would probably be the right time to get it done by," he said. "You can put a group together and say let's hammer out some true drug pricing, transparency, drug pricing strategies." 

"We can really sit down and hammer out I think a deal that the president would sign that would make life better for people in the country," he added. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE has long bemoaned rising drug costs in the pharmaceutical industry and has moved recently to lower prices. 

Earlier this month, Department of Health and Human Services sent the White House a proposal, aiming to lower certain drug prices in Medicare by connecting them to the lower prices paid in other countries, known as the international pricing index.

The idea is vehemently opposed by the pharmaceutical industry and is a departure from the GOP's free-market dogma. 

It is unclear what kind of changes the White House will make to the proposal, and how long the reviewal process will take.