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Bipartisan lawmakers weigh in on post-pandemic health care costs

Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisCapitol Police watchdog calls for boosting countersurveillance House Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Bipartisan lawmakers weigh in on post-pandemic health care costs MORE (R-Ill.) said Tuesday that lowering health care costs should be one of the top priorities as the U.S. emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at The Hill’s “Policy Prescription for Cost & Coverage” event, Rochester said she hopes there will be a greater focus on access to care and the cost of assistance.

Rochester, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told The Hill’s Steve Clemons that the pandemic has shown the impact of the Affordable Care Act and “how important having access to that care really is.”

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Davis, who also spoke at the event sponsored by PhRMA, argued that talk about health care “gets caught up in this debate over ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act instead of actually saving families money with the cost of health care, and we’ve got a long way to go.”

Davis said one step in that direction is through drug costs.

“If a pharmaceutical company is willing to help one of my constituents lower the cost for a drug that they need to survive, then insurance companies ought to count that towards their deductible,” he said.

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Davis also said greater access to telehealth services, which exploded in popularity and as a necessity during the coronavirus lockdowns over the past year, can be beneficial.

The Illinois Republican said that’s one aspect of the pandemic he would like to see continued even when COVID-19 is in the rear view mirror.

“Our goal is to continue to highlight the benefits of what we learned during this pandemic,” he said. “If it’s effective during a pandemic then why wouldn’t we keep it?”