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tv   U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 16, 2019 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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promise that we are going to make health care more affordable and bring down the cost of prescription drugs and going to make sure that people are protected who have is pre-existing conditions and we are offering robust plans, comprehensive plans with all the essential benefits as part of the package. that's what the bill last week was about as well, guaranteeing if you have a pre-existing condition, you will get affordable health coverage. 90% of prescription drugs could have a generic alternative. and they bring them down considerably. but the brand name drug companies have conspired to make it more difficult for generics to come to market and delay them coming to market and that drives up the cost of prescription drugs. we have watched this trump administration sabotage the affordable care act, put out junk plans so people don't have comprehensive coverage and
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people with pre-existing conditions find it more difficult to find coverage and don't know what to buy by cutting back on navigateors. they made it so that many people unfortunately don't even have options. and so, we are going to do whatever we can, republicans may like some bills, may not like others, but we are going to move forward on a whatever we can to make premiums more affordable and bring down drug prices. i urge support for these reasons. . . the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
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the chair: the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, and the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx, each will control 15 minutes. and the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: i rise today in support of this bill to improve access to quality health coverage, protect the affordable care act, and cut prescription drug costs for consumers. unfortunately, mr. speaker, the administration has consistently undermined quality, affordable coverage that americans have come to expect. and house republicans actually passed a bill last year that c.b.o. concluded would provide
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coverage for over 20 million fewer people, would increase premiums 20% the first year, would cover less and would jeopardize protections for those with pre-existing conditions. we can do better, and so, mr. speaker, i want to speak on one important provision of h.r. 987, which reverses the administration's attempt to proliferate the junk insurance plans. mr. speaker, for healthier younger americans, short-term junk plans may sound like a good idea. those, unfortunately, those policies will fail to cover essential benefits and the policies will lack consumer protections. they may not provide decent coverage for when they get sick, but the major problem with the proliferation of junk plans is the fact they allow insurance companies to sell plans to healthy people only. meaning, that everybody else will be in an insurance pool
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which is sicker than they are today. while a privileged few may pay less, everybody else will pay more. in fact, one study showed that the combination of all these junk plans and lack of mandate and other sabotage of the affordable care act could result in thousands of dollars more for everybody else to be paying. so these plans will raise the cost for most americans, and that's a step in the wrong direction. mr. speaker, we should be reducing the cost of insurance for most americans, not increasing the cost. this bill will prevent the administration from going in the wrong direction, so i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 987 and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentlelady from virginia is recognized -- north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. speaker, i rise as leader of the republican on the committee of jurisdiction over employer-sponsored health care, the house committee on education and labor. we have a vital stake in this debate because that's how most americans get their health care , through their employer. our focus should be on improving those options. instead, we're here so our democratic colleagues can grind and ax against the few remaining health care options they don't get to control. among its many choice, eliminating, freedom-limiting provisions, this legislation would eliminate short-term duration insurance plans. these plans are an obvious potential solution for millions of americans, working or not, who may find themselves between
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jobs or unable to afford rising premiums in the already expensive individual market. if any of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle claim to be champions for hardworking americans or the unemployed, their support for this provision is proof that those claims are empty. it's worth noting for the record that short-term, limed duration plans were legal under the obama administration and that states still have the authority to regulate these plans, both under the obama administration and under the current rules. if states choose to limit our prohibit the sale of these plans, they areree to do so. by considering this bill, house democrats are once again defaulting to their standard,
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uncreative, blind support for the one-size-fits-all federal mandates. instead of respecting the judgment of state lawmakers and authorities, as well as individuals, to act in their state's and own best interests. republicans on the education and labor committee have been and remain fully dedicated to protecting americans with pre-existing conditio and leashing new, customizeable, affordable, workable health care options that take into account the changing needs of all americans at all stages of life. the bill before the house today will not lower drug prices, will not protect anyone from surprised billings, will not lower premiums, will not cut any out-of-pocket costs, and
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will not provide one cent of tax relief. its failure to achieve any of those objectives makes it simply unacceptable for us as republicans. mr. chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, ms. wild. the chair: the gentlelady from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. ms. wild: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. scott. i rise in support of h.r. 987. i am proud that we are about to follow through on some key campaign promises -- lowering drug costs by removing barriers to generic drugs coming to rket, rescinding the administration's rule to expand junk plans. as we all know, congress sometimes engages in hyperbole. but this is not hyperbole.
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these plans are truly junk. junk. they are not required to include essential benefit coverage requirements of the a.c.a. they can deny consumers' coverage or charge more based on age, gender, or health status. they come with no guarantees for basic benefits like maternity care, mental health care, prescription drug coverage, and other preventative services, and they are not subject to the out-of-pocket limitations of the a.c.a. that are designed specifically to protect consumers. i know a bit about these junk plans because i spent time over mother's day weekend desperately helping my 26-year-old son find insurance coverage. in march, he turned 26 and found himself uninsured. he's in a sandwich situation between his 26th birthday and when he will begin become eligible for employer-provided health care. only because i have read
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countless insurance policies over the years of my legal career did my son avoid the trap of paying $6,000 for a policy that would afford him almost no coverage with a $10,000 dict, and that dict would -- deductible and that deductible would have applied to prescription drugs which he needs one. my son is exactly the kind of person we need in the marketplace. let's encourage robust participation in marketplace plans which was the intent of the affordable care act. these junk plans lure young, healthy people away from the a.c.a. pool of plans, resulting in more expensive premiums for the rest of americans. let's pass this bill. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield two minutes -- three minutes to the gentleman
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rom virginia, mr. cline. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. cline: we have a bait and switch by the democrats. it will allow consumers to access generic drugs, saving americans $3.9 billion over 10 years. what have they done with it? they stuck in poison pills designed to take choice away from americans when it comes to their health insurance plans. you know, as lawmakers, we owe it to americans to protect their right to make their own decisions, particularly as it relates to health care. the fact that we're here debating even further reducing these options available to americans proves that we're not keeping up our end of the bargain. you know, obamacare created a health care paradigm that aimed to take away options from americans and give that authority to the government. as a result, premiums are skyrocketing with the highest in the country being in my home state of virginia. president trump has thankfully stepped in to allow flexible, short-term limited duration
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plans to help those in my district where my constituents are pleading for more choices in health insurance. this administration is simply trying to give more options to americans in this desert of choice. we should be creating an environment that encourages more choices for individuals and families. this includes a more individualized market, particularly with regard to employer-sponsored health insurance. it also means increasing pricing, transparency at the point of sale to avoid surprise medical billing, which the president championed last week, and finally, we should address consolidation in the health care system through increased enforcement from the f.t.c. and -- under the anti-sherman act. this is the height of arrogance, government knows best yet again, the american people no nothing about their own choices when it comes to health insurance. to double down on obamacare and take away the few options that are left for constituents and giving those choices to those
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who caused this failure in the first place, the federal government, it is beyond offensive to american citizens. i urge my colleagues to join me in rejecting this legislation, reject this idea that government knows best, and stand up for affordable and accessible health insurance for all americans. mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from north carolina reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. adams. the chair: the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. adams: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from virginia for yielding and for his support on this issue. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 987. we must reverse the administration's attempt to sabotage the affordable care act. health care should not be a partisan issue.
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it doesn't matter if you're a democrat, republican, or unaffiliated. if you get sick, you need to see a doctor. you know, your body certainly doesn't make the distinction about what your politics are. the a.c.a. has given millions of americans, including 500,000 in my home state of north carolina, access to quality and affordable care, and that's huge because people need health care. no one should worry about losing access to quality, affordable health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. we all have them. black women shouldn't have to worry about dying in childbirth because they don't have equal access to health care. i am proud to support h.r. 987, to invest in quality health care for the american people, a health care system that works for everyone. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from virginia reserves.
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the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield three minutes to the distinguished ranking member of the veterans' affairs ommittee, dr. roe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for three minutes. mr. row: i rise today in opposition to h.r. 987, the democrats' obamacare bailout act. this legislation includes three bipartisan bills that could help lower the cost of prescription drugs. unfortunately, the majority's decided to package these positive bills with four bills that double down on trying to force obamacare on people who don't want it and can't afford it. we're back on the floor again using valuable time to consider legislation that will not pass the senate. make no mistake, if house democrats wanted to accomplish something, they could have put their three drug pricing bills on the floor by themselves today and they would have passed.
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everyone needs to understand that. instead of working together to find ways to bring down the cost of health care, house democrats are acting to eliminate affordable options that many folks across the country rely upon for covering their family's health care needs. one provision in this bill would be the limited availability of short-term limited duration plans to no more than three months. this change by president obama went into effect january of 2017 overturned 20 years of regulations that had been in place since bill clinton was in office. including the entirety of president obama's administration. these plans offer essential health benefits chosen by the individual consumer not the federal government. we need different needs at different points in our life. unfortunately, the a.c.a. does not allow for plans to be sold as complied unless they contain government-approved what you need not what you and your family decide what's in your best interest and can can afford. if my colleagues want to get rid of junk plans, they can can
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can start by working with us to get rid of obamacare. in my district, while the individual mandate was in effect, there were 20,000 people who purchased their coverage through the exchange and about 15,000 who paid the penalty. many of those people who paid the penalty were able to find a plan that was affordable through the tennessee farm bureau or the christian sharing ministries. i have said it before i'll say it again, obamacare is a good deal for you if you get a subsidy, which about 90% do. but these subsidies hide the true cost of the care. for people who don't receive a subsidy, it's unaffordable. when the education and labor committee marked up the short-term bill last month, i heard the argument that these short-term plans were too difficult to understand and consumers don't know what they are getting. this is offensive to me. this is saying just because patients don't choose plans that washington bureaucrats think are good for them that they don't have enough sense to figure it out on their own. they do. i trust the american people.
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why on earth when we do something like common sense and creating a association health plans, allow small groups to get together, washington state does that, hardly a conservative state. they have had a.h.p.'s for over 20 years and they are working well. my friends across the aisle want to engage in good faith efforts to find solutions to high health care costs. i am all in, mr. chairman. i want to help. but the point is is that people are finding ways outside of obamacare to best access coverage for their families. the c.b.o. initially said there would be 27 million people in the exchanges in 2019. that number is eight million. i think competition works, i hope my colleagues oppose this legislation and willing to work in bipartisan way to solve these problems. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman -- ms. foxx: could i inquire as to the amount of time left? the chair: the gentlelady from north carolina has 6 1/2 minutes.
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and the gentleman from virginia has 10 minutes. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the chair: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for two minutes. mr. cicilline: thank you, mr. speaker. every day in kitchens and living rooms across america working men and women sit down and try to figure out how to pay for their prescription drugs. that's because 25% of the people in this country can't afford the medicine they have been prescribed. seniors are choosing between copd medicine and their groceries. people with cancer are being forced to delay their treatment. cut pills in half, orer even forego treatment all together. this is happening in the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the world. it's a disgrace. if government is going to work for the people, then the people who serve in government need to end this crisis. democrats are committed to doing just that. we're taking on the big pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists and get the job done. that's why i'm proud my legislation, the creates act,
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is included in this legislative package. the creates act will save taxpayers $3.9 billion, according to the c.b.o., and bring down the cost of some prescription drugs by as much as 85%. the creates act does this by directly addressing the abusive delay tactics that big drug companies use to block or delay generic competitors from entering the market. over the past decade some of the biggest drug companies have abused regulatory protocols so they can prevent the sale of affordable drugs. this lets them maintain their control of the marketplace and keep their prices at inflated levels. if it's signed into law, the creates act will treat create a tailored path for again narke drug manufacturers to obtain the samples that are necessary for their lower cost formulas. i'm proud this bill is not only backed by many of our colleagues but has the support of a diverse coalition of health care providers, patient groups, and public interest organizations including aarp and public citizen. i'm proud this is included in this package today. the majority leader in the senate likes to describe
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himself as the grim reaper for democratic legislative proposals. i hope that won't be the case here. he needs to put the interests of the american people ahead of his obsession with fighting democrats every step of the way. the creates act and these other proposals contained in this package deserve an up or down vote in the united states senate. the american people deserve relief from these outrageous prescription drug prices, and this legislation will achieve that. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from north carolina -- virginia reserves. the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield three minutes to the distinguished republican leader on the subcommittee on health, employment, labor, and pensions, mr. walberg. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. walberg: i thank the gentlelady. mr. chairman, i rise today in opposition to h.r. 987 and i truly lament the fact that the
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other side is once again under their leadership's direction trying to score political points instead of truly solving problems. republicans and democrats agree on the need to tackle out-of-control prescription drug costs. it's an issue that touches all of our districts. people are struggling and in need of relief. all of the names mentioned today, the illustrations from the speaker of the house on to my colleagues, names that were mentioned of people that are hurting and need relief on drug costs, are being let down by the democrat leadership today. up until today,er we have been working together -- today, we have been working together on solutions. on the energy and commerce committee which i sit, we passed three drug privatizing bills with overwhelming bipartisan support. the creates act, the protecting consumer access to generic drugs act, and the bringing low cost options and company competition while keeping
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incentives for new generics act. these bills would fosterer greater competition and help bring generic drugs to market as soon as possible and at more affordable prices. and once again, they all had bipartisan support. they were bills that were good bills. unfortunately, the democrats turned this bipartisan issue into a political football by adding several partisan provisions to this bill package and they let down everyone that they have talked about today who needs affordable prescription drugs. they are costly provision that is bailout failed he obamacare programs and strip away affordable health care options for families. the democrats also rejected a number of commonsense amendments, including one i offered to protect expanded access to association health plans. these association health plans give more affordable options to workers and small businesses to
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purchase health care that fits their needs. we should be encouraging these options not removing them. but most of all, today should be a moment of bipartisanship. a a moment of meaningful results. we had a opportunity to get something done today on behalf of our constituents who are struggling with skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs. instead, politics got in the way. we miss that opportunity. the american people deserve better than that, and i think most of us are better than that. we stand ready to work on lowering prescription drug costs. i hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will talk to their leadership and put politics aside and join us in that effort. i believe we and they are better than that. and that if standing up to leadership that wants to make it political, if they do that, we can can get this done. can nd ready -- week -- we
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get this done. i want to keep talking about this and get a solution but i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady reserves. gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the chair: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. i'm pleased to rise to support enthusiastically h.r. 987, health care and lowering prescription drug costs act. this omnibus bill combines three key bills to lower drug costs by promoting generic competition, long overdue, and four key bills to strengthen health care, reverse the g.o.p. sabotage, and rescind the trump administration's devastating junk plan rule. i know full well what happens when individuals are impacted by junk plans and they don't have the courage they need. i encourage my good frnds on the other side of the aisle to -- friends on the other side of the aisle to drop politics and
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join with us to pass this legislation. this omnibus bill invests most of the savings of $13.8 billion created by its cracking down on junk plans into strengthening health care, which will fund about 500,000 additional enrollees into nongroup coverage and medicaid. let me say to you in 2017 due to the direct interference by trump administration, the number of uninsured people increased by 700,000. the first increase since implementation of the affordable care act. i he know full well that texas, which is a number one state in the number of uninsured, is experiencing the devastation of not having the expanded medicaid and the affordable care act in its fullest. we had a round table discussion with people who experienced diabetes. insulin is going through the roof. these people are suffering. the average uninsured resident in my congressional district pays 23 more times for a form of insulin than people living in australia. 15 more times than they would
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in the united kingdom. 13 more times than canada. let's protect those with pre-existing conditions and let's pass this bill to bring down these drugs and save the lives of our constituents. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from idaho, mr. fulcher. the chair: the gentleman from idaho is recognized for three minutes. mr. fulcher: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.r. 987 as well. for a number of reasons, but one in particular that has been raised already is the provision that it terminates the short-term limited duration insurance provision. these are a good thing and they have been good for idaho. idaho has been one of the states leading on this front.
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mr. speaker, before the affordable care act, the average premium in our state as $1,915. after the affordable care act, that premium averaged went to $5,267. that's from what i understand not like what's happened in other states. because the young and the healthy left the plans. and that left the older, less healthy that were remaining in those plans. it's driven those costs up. they have gone out -- the younger and more healthy have gone out of the plan all together or they have joined a medishare. the point is it's driven those numbers up significantly. in my state, the legislature passed a three year provision for short-term plans. it's good for everyone. if you are in between those
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jobs, or if you are in between coverage for some reason, or you need to maintain continuity among the plans, it allows for that. mr. speaker, i have heard a couple of times these referred to as junk. if they were junk there wouldn't be such demand for it. i would refrain that argument to say that junk would be better described to the system that has driven those prices up from $1 can 915 to $5,267. we want to draw that younger constituency into those plans. everyone wins. we all win when that's the case. mr. speaker, again, h.r. 987 strikes that provision and for that reason i will oppose it and i ask my colleagues to do the same. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time is yielded back. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield
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1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, ms. clarke. the chair: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. clarke: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to first of all thank the gentlelady from delaware, ms. blunt rochester, forer introducing this very important legislation and thank chairman scott for yielding me time and his leadership and support in continuing to provide access to quality health care for working families. i'm happy to stand with my colleagues on the education and labor committee to urge my colleagues to support the strengthening health care and lowering prescription drug prices act. while h.r. 987 is not a panacea to the many challenges that we face in our nation's health care delivery system, it is sound legislation that will reduce drug pricing and increase market competition to bring generic drugs to the
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market sooner. it improves the lives of americans by lowering the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses and presents a real -- that presents a real financial hardship for americans who struggle with financial resources and ask themselves, do i pay for medication or do i purchase food or school fees or transportation to and from work. while my home state of new york short-term health insurance plans, others have not. mr. speaker, let's do the right thing and enact legislation that will lower the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs and give protections to the consumers of health insurance coverage, lifting the burden off of -- of access and affordability from the american people. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired.
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the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. chairman, i reserve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from delaware, ms. blunt rochester. the chair: the gentlewoman from delaware is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. blunt rochester: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. chairman scott. according to the merriam dictionary, sabotage is the act or process intended to hurt or hamper. when i'm a person who is really particular about words, and i heard this word used a lot, and when i look at what has happened to the affordable care act over the past few years,
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do two things. number one, drugs and, number two, strengthen this historic legislation, the a.c.a. today, opportunity to reverse the administration's relentless sabotage of the health care system and lower prescription drugs. and as i think about individuals in my state, i think about a woman who came to me crying because of the cost
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of her prescription drugs. every one of us in here wants to see something happen. today we have the opportunity to make that happen. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 987. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from virginia is recognized. ms. foxx: the gentlelady will reserve, mr. chairman. the chair: i mean north carolina. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: mr. chairman, i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. shalala. the chair: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. ms. shalala: i yield myself such time as i may consume. this amendment expresses a sense of congress the secretary should not do anything that prohibits state insurance commissioners from allowing for so-called silver loading. let me walk you through how we got to this point.
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because while silver loading has worked to keep costs on the exchange lower for folks who get subsidies, it has only been used because the president was actively trying to kill the affordable care act. in 2017, the president decided to stop reimbursing health insurance companies for what are called cost sharing reductions or c.s.r.'s. c.s.r.'s are payments that health insurance companies are required to make to help low and moderate income people afford health care. under the affordable care act, the health insurance companies must help people that have more affordable and possibly no co-pays or deductibles. the federal government was supposed to reimburse insurance providers from making these payments. however, in october of 2017, the administration stopped making these payments. this was a deliberate attempt to make health insurance on the exchange unaffordable and to
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undermine, weaken and attack the affordable care act. in response to this, states let health insurance plans do what is now called silver loading. state insurance regulators, in a desperate and creative attempt to stabilize the insurance marketplaces, allowed insurance companies to build the unpaid c.s.r. costs into their silver plans on the exchange. this was a very creative attempt to stabilize the insurance market. this wasn't the solution that anyone wanted, but it is a solution that's worked and has created some stability and predictability in the insurance market in the face of an administration that seeks chaos. because the tax credits are benchmarked to the silver plans, silver loading has meant that most who receive subsidies did not see an increase in
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their health insurance premiums. in fact, new data shows that 2.6 million health care -- healthcare.gov consumers are now paying lower premiums as a result of silver loading. states that allowed for silver loading as a way to cope with a manufactured chaos that the administration tried to inflict on the market actually saw an increase in enrollment in the exchanges. the administration must stop trying to sabotage the affordable care act. mr. scott: i yield 15 additional seconds. ms. shalala: thank you. the administration must stop trying to sabotage the affordable care act. my amendment expresses that it's a sense of congress that the secretary of health and human services shall not do anything to prohibit the use of silver loading, a program designed by the states to stabilize the health insurance marketplace. i reserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: i'll continue to reserve. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: mr. chairman, can you give us the amount of time left on both sides? the chair: the gentleman from virginia has 3/4 of a minute remaining. the gentlelady from north carolina has one minute remaining. mr. scott: mr. chairman, do i have the right to close? the chair: the gentleman enjoys the right to close. mr. scott: thank you. and i'll reserve, ready to close. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: i'm prepared to close, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: mr. chairman, republicans predicted all the bad things that have resulted from the so-called affordable care act. it's not been affordable and has increased the cost of health insurance and care. unfortunately, our colleagues are so invested in supporting the legislation that they blame republicans for its failure. the legislation has failed because it is hopelessly flawed
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and cannot be fixed. mr. chairman, the piece of legislation before us, as i said earlier, is choice limiting -- is a choice-limiting, freedom-limiting bill and should not pass. i'd also like to make one more observation. my colleagues have made repeated references to junk plans. every time they do that, they're insulting the person who has chosen that plan for one reason or another, due to individual circumstances or preferences. just because a product isn't something i would buy or you would buy, does that make it junk? no. dismissing less expensive and more flexible health plans as junk isn't taking up for anyone. it's actually putting them down. that's not the way we should be in this country. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from virginia has 3/4 of a minute. mr. scott: i want to say a final word about these junk plans. the problem is you allow them to screen for pre-existing conditions and have lower benefits. it might be a good idea for the person buying the plan, but what happens is, under the affordable care act, everybody pays average. if you let healthy people buy these junk plans, everybody else's premium will go up. the sabotage has been estimated with this and the other sabotage thousands of dollars more for everybody else left behind. so i rise today in support of he bill, which will include -- improve access to quality coverage, protect the affordable care act and cut prescription drug costs and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields his time back. all time for general debate has
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expired. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print 116-14 shall be considered as adopted and shall be considered as an original bill for purpose of further amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. no further amendments to the bill, as amended, shall be in order except those printed in house report 116-61. if such further amendment may in ffered only in the order the report, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question.
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to consider rder amendment number 1 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number amendment number 1 printed in house report 116-61 offered by mr. pallone of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i have an amendment sponsored by myself and the ranking member of the full committee, mr. walden.
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we have been considering the creates act, and the legislation like it, for years and has been long been one of my top priorities. so i introduced a bipartisan amendment that gained the support of my republican colleagues during energy and commerce consideration of the creates bill. there was only one outstanding concern still to be resolved after that amendment was adopted and i'm pleased to offer a bipartisan solution to address that concern today. the concern raised during our full committee markup was there was a lack of specificity in the provisions that describe the communication requirements related to the request and the delivery of the requested samples between the eligible product developer and the license holder. this bipartisan amendment, filed by myself and my colleague, the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee, mr. walden, will provide the additional needed clarity to ensure that communication requirements in these negotiations are understood so there is certainty from both parties. so i think we have found agreement with our colleagues
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across the aisle around a shared goal of discouraging anti-competitive conduct and providing certainty to both brand and generic manufacturers about the sample requests and delivery process. i prishte the ranking member and his staff -- i appreciate the ranking member and his staff working with me in good faith on this legislation. we urge all our colleagues to vote in support of this amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, thank you for recognizing me. i claim time in opposition although we do not oppose this amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. the chairman of the full committee is correct. we appreciate his help and support and working through these technical corrections. we don't oppose them. and with that i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i
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appreciate the comments from the gentleman from illinois. again, this is an effort to try to make sure that when a patent expires that the samples or formula are given to generics so they can develop the generic alternative. that's what the creates act is all about. so with that i would urge support for my amendment and yield back the balance of my time. . the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment agreed to. considered amendment number 2 printed in house report number 116-61. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition?
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a >> a mr. chairman i rise as the designee from the gentleman from indiana. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2, printed in house report number 116-61, offered by mr. mckinley of west virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mckinley, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair -- the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia. mr. mckinley: thank you, mr. chairman. bills to recognize lower drug prices pass energy and commerce with unanimous bipartisan support. they were genuine efforts to address the most expensive component of health care. but democrats have packaged these bipartisan drug pricing , lutions with controversial
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ideologically driven legislation that will not be taken up by the senate. shame on them. so here we go again. according to "the washington post," in so doing the democrats have put a pothole in the path of lowering drug prices. we have all seen the chart. we have seen the quotes here earlier in the day. look, mr. chairman,er as the 11th most bipartisan member of the house, i recognize the importance of playing nice in the sand box. and putting good legislation before politics. this combination fails that test. my amendment is simple. it would strike the most controversial portions from the bill, leaving those areas of lower, and allow us to lower
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the cost of prescription drugs. therefore if your goal is to lower the cost of prescription my s, i would encourage friend and colleagues to vote yes on this amendment. but if you want to play politics with the health care of americans and see this bill stopped in the senate, then vote no. you'll see what happens. thank you, i reserve the bance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jeey seek recognition? mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i claim the time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for fafe minutes. mr. pallone: i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. pallone: mr. chairman i am a' very disappointed my republican colleagues want to strike all the a.c.a. stabilization measures that we passed through our committee.
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these are important bills that shoul have strong bipartisan support but unfortunately my republican colleagues continue to be unwilling to work together on commonsense proposals that will lower health care costs for consumers. fuing for outreach and marketing, why is this even controversial to my republican colleagues? outreach in advertising is critical so people know they can enroll in comprehensive coverage. we know last year one in four uninsured people who buy their own insurance were aware of the open enrollment season and the deadline to enroll in coverage. another commonsense proposal to lower health care costs is to provide funds to states to set up state-based marketplaces. why is this controversial? over the last few years state-based marketplaces have had lower premiums and better enrollment than the federal marketplace. while enrollment has declined two to the trump administration's sabotage. enrollment in the state - based marketplaces has increased.
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on the navigator provision, the republicans are trying to strike from the bill again, this is a program to help hard to reach individuals to help them sign up for comprehensive coverage. finally, the republicans want to remove protection that is would block the trump administration's expansion of junk insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. i really can't understand why my republican colleagues who claim to support protections for pre-existing conditions want to defend these plans that discriminate against pre-existing conditions and put consumers at extreme financial risk. other than the fact this is a trump administration initiative so they don't want to oppose it. in addition to discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, these junk plans exclude coverage for many important benefits, such as maternity care. even when you think you are covered, if you get sick while you're on one of these, the insurance companies find a way to avoid paying a a bill. in closing, this amendment demonstrates what we all know clearly, that republicans don't want to do anything to help lower health care costs for
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americans or safeguard pre-existing conditions protections. i urge opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. mckinley: mr. chairman, again this is the third time today i have heard the words sabotage. so that must be the new operative word come interesting my colleagues across the aisle. i would submit to you, i'll turn the table back because if there is someone trying to sabotage the effort of lowering health care prices, it's you. mr. chairman, our chairman on the other side,
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bills came out in a nonpartisan fashion. universally adopted by us. someplace from the time they left energy and commerce to the time they came to the floorer, they were put into something that the senate has already indicated they have no appetite for. so if we truly want to lower health care prices in this vote, then it's a yes vote. but if you want to sabotage this legislation, you go right ahead and do what you have to do. i know, mr. chairman, there were good efforts here, bipartisan efforts to try to get something done. it looks like something has creeped in to cause a problem. i yield back the balance of my ime. the chair: the chair is advised to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i yield a minute and a half to the gentlewoman from florida, ms. castor.
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the chair: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for one 1/2 minutes. ms. castor: we're trying to turn back the sabotage of the trump administration on people's health care. the folks back home that we represent. the trump administration has done everything they can to make it more expensive, whether we're talking about prescription drugs or that all important health insurance policy. don't just take it from me and my democratic colleagues. take it from folks who are on the side of our families day in and day out. the american cancer society, cancer action network, american diabetes association, the american heart association, the american lung association. i could go on and on but i'd ask unanimous consent to submit for the record letters from over 20 health groups that represent our families back home into the record that say, ass this bill. the chair: without objection. ms. castor: i wanted to make
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one more important point. i heard so much misinformation today from the other side of the aisle who have denigrated our navigators. they say agents and brokers can do the job of helping to sign up our neighbors for health insurance. boy, that's not the case. yes, agents and brokers are important, but we heard expert testimony in our committee that the navigators provide independent, trusted advice. they are our community-based folks at community health centers and groups like cancer society that i mentioned that understand how important it is. and a lot of the agents and brokers, they send their customers over to the navigators to sign up because the agents and brokers are not interested in going over to folks who rely on medicaid or the children's health insurance program. the chair: the gentlelady's ime has expired. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: i ield a minute and a half to the gentlewoman
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from delaware. the chair: the gentlewoman from delaware is recognized for a minute and a half. miss blunt rochester: thank you, mr. chairman. i oppose this amendment because by stripping the a.c.a. stabilization bills from this package we're reneging on the promise that we made to the american people. access to quality affordable health care. this complete package of bills helps stabilize the a.c.a. which will improve the risk pool, reduce premium cost, and lower the number of uninsured. the c.b.o. found that my bill, the more health education act, would help five million americans obtain the high quality health insurance created by the a a.c.a. it's supported by aarp, the american hospital association, and a number of other organizations as was mentioned before. from day one there has been a concern that when we shorten the amount of time that people can can enroll, when we tell them that we're not going to let them know what is even available to them, and then we
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take away the resources and individuals that can help them get there, that's why we feel like we have been watching and witnessing the move backwards. what we want to do with this bill is move forwards. i urge my colleagues to reject this amendment and support the full legislative package for the people. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. all time -- the gentleman from new jersey has 15 seconds. mr. pallone: i would just ask opposition to this bill because it guts the effort to improve the affordable care act. the chair: the gentleman yield. all time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from west virginia. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, toes have it.
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mr. mckin ln-ily: i ask for a roll call vote. the chair: does the gentleman seek a recorded vote? mr. mckinley: yes. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from west virginia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont seek recognition? mr. welch: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3, printed in house report number 11 -61, offered by mr. welch of
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vermt. -- the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from vermont. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. welch: mr. speaker, this amendment, which i'ldescribe in a moment, is about improving and preserving the affordable care act. ed word sabotage has been used here. we don't need that word. we have a very straightforward, very transparent difference of view. the democrats supported and passed the affordable carect. we have been defending it for years. the republicans opposed it. president trump made it a campaign pledge to get rid of it. and they came within a vote in the senate, except for jo mccain, of repealing the law
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all together. we don't have to use words that are pejorative. we think we should havthe affordable care act. we think we should make it stronger. and my colleagues in the other side of the aisle want to vote against it and now want to repeal it. one of the ways to make the affordable care act effective is to have autoa matic reenrollment -- re-enrollment. if a a family is in the affordable care act and the time for re-enrollment comes up, if they take no action they are automatically re-enrolled in the plan that they are already in. you take away the automatic re-enrollment, folks fall off oftentimes for no particular reas. they were doing other things, they didn't notice about it, they didn't have the time, they didn't get to a a navigator. lots of things that come between automatic re-enrollment and picking your own plan. by the way, studies have shown that automatic re-enrollment
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like automatic withdrawal to go into your retirement account, hose are very, very effective. the president has indicated a desire to get rid of the automatic re-enrollment program, he wasn't done that yet. this amendment wld prohibit him from doing th. there is a reason why the administration would want to get rid of re-enrollmt. it wou mean millions of americans would lose access to their health care becse they hadn't re-enrolled. we don't want that to happen. we want those american families who depend on the america that they have to ntinue receiving the health ce next year just like they received it this ear. to this amendment maks it very clear, that the automatic re-enrollmt program will be
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part of the affordable care act and keep in mind, it in no way limits the ability of a family an indivual to decide to get into a different plan oro affirmatively say they don't want to be in any plan. that can still happen. so there's total and complete freedom of choice but it gives security that's going to be very beneficial to about two milli american families. and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the committee will rise informally to receive a message. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker, i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 1208, e protecting america's first responders act, in which the
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concurrence of the house is requested. he speaker pro tempore: the committee will resume its sitting. thchairthe coittee will be in order. for what purpose doethe gentleman from illinois sk recognition? mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i like to claim time in opposition, and i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman is recogned for five minutes and reserves. mr. welch: we have no futher speakers so i reserve mtime. mr. shkus: mr. chairman, i believe i have the right to close. the chair: the gentlemafrom vermonis recognized. mr. welch: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman has
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two minutes remaining. mr. welch: as i mentioned earlier, we just have a difference of opinion. we think the affordable care act is important to preserve and important to improve. my colleagues, when they ha opportunity, voted to repeal it. and failing to repeal it, what the trump administration has done is chip away at it. we don't want the administration to be able to get rid of autoenrollment, which will likely result in the loss of two million families getting access to health care. there's been a number of other things that have happened. slashing funding, slashing funding for consumer outreach and enrollment education by 90%, cutting back the uninsured rate for four years, 1.1 million americans losing coverage last year. in the latest a.c.a. marketplace final rule, the administration openly contemplated getting rid of this autoenrollment.
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this amendment protects the auto re-enrollment. it will continue care under the affordable care act for over two million americans. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. and it's great being on the floor with a lot of my friends on energy and commerce, and my colleagues across the aisle. we have obviously a fundamental disagreement. i know in southern illinois, one of the biggest questions i always got and concern was, obamacare plans are too expensive, and the deductibles are too high and we can't use them. hence, no one wanted to use them. part of the change in the political landscape, because of that, was republicans controlled the house. that's what happened politically. so here we are, and my colleagues, we belabored this point all day, mr. chairman,
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about what are we trying to do. we are trying to lower the cost of prescription drugs. but we have to go back to this obamacare debate. republicans control the senate. they're not going to bring it up. the president's not going to sign the bill. it's instructional to have this debate. we understand it. we'll eventually come back and we'll address these prescription drug bills that -- we'll get there but we have to go through this exercise. i understand that. the three bills that we could vote -- pass right now probably on a suspension calendar and voice vote would be the three prescription drug bills that are part of this package which is the creates act, the protecting consumers access to generic drugs act, and the bringing low cost options and competition while keeping incentives for new generics. called the blocking act. that's what we could be doing we'll make believe
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major changes in addressing affordability, traps, and the like. -- transparency and the like. my colleagues point out the numerous votes to repeal or replace parts of obamacare. i'm proud to say i voted for all of them. and my guess is, well, the facts speak that a lot of democrats supported these to fundamentally change provisions of obamacare. in fact, 30 of the bills my friends are citing were signed into law. 21 of those bills were signed into law by president obama. speaker pelosi voted yes on 19 of them. these are part of the 60 bills that we would repeal and replace, and we have 21, 19 were voted by speaker pelosi.
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leader-hour voted on -- leader hoyer voted yes on 21 of them. my friend, chairman pallone, voted on 20 of them. here are the examples that we want to lay out. repealing the unworkable and unsustainable class act. rescinding billions of dollars for the failed obamacare co-op program. delaying the cadillac tax and medical device tax. cutting funding to the independent payment advisory board. providing regulatory and financial relief from obamacare's requirements to small business and independent contractors. requiring accurate income verification before disbursing subsidies to obamacare exchanges and modifying eligibility for obamacare exchange subsidies. we're going to have this tit for tat, mr. chairman, and they are going to defend obamacare. we will always say that the private market is better to rovide lower cost, rapid
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response. it's an ideological fight. we'll eventually come back and address these prescription drug issues that, as i mentioned, mr. chairman, we probably would pass on a voice vote once we return this. with that i'd like to thank my colleagues and i have great respect to my colleague from vermont. he's very sincere. good friend. we look forward to debating this more in the future. with that i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from vermont. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 4 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from delaware seek recognition? ms. blunt rochester: thank you, mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report 116-61 offered by ms. blunt rochester of delaware. ms. blunt rochester: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentlewoman from delaware, ms. blunt rochester, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from delaware. ms. blunt rochester: mr. chairman, this is a simple amendment designed to ensure that congress is able to review the department of health and human services' own analysis of the a.c.a.'s marketing and outreach programs. in april of this year, i led a letter, signed by 30 of my
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house colleagues on the energy and commerce committee, requesting h.h.s. disclose any studies and data related to their marketing and outreach efforts for the a.c.a. h.h.s. and c.m.s. have had nearly 50 days to respond to this request and provide these crucial documents to the public and congress. the lack of response confirms our concerns about their transparency and commitment to implementing the current law. while estimates vary, it is clear that marketing and outreach efforts, created by the a.c.a., could significantly improve the lives of tens of thousands of americans. many of these americans are simply unaware of the health insurance and financial assistance options available to them. h.h.s. and c.m.s. have the power and obligation to assist the public in understanding these options. my colleagues would agree that h.h.s. and c.m.s. also have an obligation to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars by doing
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this effectively. because of this, earlier this morning, i sent a follow-up letter requesting that these documents be released without delay. the results of this study need to be made public so that congress can enact effective policy that reaches our common goal of quality and affordable health insurance for all americans. simply put, public awareness of the a.c.a. isn't as high as folks are made to believe, and the a.c.a.'s marketing and outreach program was an effective tool in helping americans make informed decisions for their families. according to joshua peck, a former senior advisor to c.m.s., who oversaw the marketing program, the private sector spends between $250 and $1,000 per enrollment. how much did this cost the federal government? $29. it costs government just $29 to enroll someone in the
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individual marketplace using tv ads. that's a good use of taxpayer dollars. a july, 2018, g.a.o., government accountability office, report on a.c.a. outreach and enrollment even cites the h.h.s.'s study, which looked at most cost-effective forms of advertising for new and returning enrollees. the g.a.o. found that the study named television ads as one of the best forms of advertising for enrolling americans. despite objective fact-based analysis, the administration eliminated these ads. mr. chairman, i support the underlying legislation, and i ask my colleagues to support my amendment and make clear that h.h.s. should be transparent and release these studies. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition and would like to reserve my time. the chair: the gentlewoman is
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recognized for five minutes and reserves. -- the gentleman is recognized for five minutes and reserves. the gentlewoman from delaware is recognized. ms. blunt rochester: i will close. again, i would urge my colleagues to support this amendment and also support the underlying bill. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. it's hard to sell a lemon no matter how much you give in advertising, and so that's kind of the basics between our opposition to this amendment. as you heard me say in the last debate, in my congressional district, people didn't want to force -- they didn't want to be forced to buy something that was too high and was unaffordable and the
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deductibles were too high and that we, in washington, mandated that they have to buy it. now, we see a period in time where people are giving -- in essence, they have a little more choices because of the waiver system, the 1332's, and we see people flocking away from obamacare plans to 1332 waivers within the states, which we think is a good deal. so part of the debate on this is, let's pump more money in and maybe these people will stay in these failed obamacare plans. we reject that. we reject it based upon what we have done with medicare advantage and medicare part d and the executive branch has said, let's spend the same amount of money that we do for medicare d and medicare
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advantage, which have a much higher enrollment than the exchange -- obamacare exchanges, and so we that i that's appropriate. when $100 that million or more to try to get people to buy a product and you see enrollment go down, that's not a good use of money. so with that we'd ask for a no vote on the amendment. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from delaware. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. . en in president of -- in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 116-61.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. desaulnier: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 116-61 offered by mr. desaulnier of california. mr. desaulnier: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentleman from california, mr. desaulnier, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. desaulnier: thank you, mr. chairman. sorry for jumping the gun. my amendment seeks to find information that will help with the high cost of prescription drugs in the united states, to help inform this institution and the plern public. mr. speaker, i have a form of noncurable blood cancer. in my pocket is a pill i take every day that keeps me alive. it costs $500 a day. most of the research that developed this pill was at the department of defense and the national institutes for health.
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american taxpayers did the basic research. earlier today we had a long hearing in oversight of a similar situation, where most of the development this an h.i.v. life saving drug was developed at the university of california-san francisco with n.i.h. funding. no funding from the drug supplier that's now making billions of dollars. so what my bill does is direct the academy of medicine to get the information, to differentiate what is basic taxpayer health care and how much that contributes to these billions of dollars of profits from pharmaceutical companies. it's not to say these -- that these private investments are not good. but are they low-risk and high-reward? or are they high-risk and high-reward? that is to say, are the investors getting a really high-risk based on what the taxpayers have done in investment? all this amendment does is direct the academy of medicine to come back with that
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information. we hear arguments from our republican colleagues often that we need these investments in private sector pharmaceutical companies. i don't disagree. but we need to know what portion of it is actually returning a reasonable rate of return. we want to attract those investments. but absent this kind of information, it's just a political opinion and argument. my amendment would get to that information that is so important to this debate. and with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: jamplet for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek -- the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. shimkus: i claim five minutes in opposition and i'd like to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. desaulnier: i would hope that all the members would support this amendment it. provides us valuable information -- amendment. it provides us valuable information by a source that we all value, the national academy of medicine, and it will get to this argument that if my colleagues across the aisle, if
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their argument is right, then the public and the congress will see it. it will be verified. if it's different, and i believe it is, we will start looking at the real value of private investment and the return on investment that is due the american public. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i don't know my colleague, mr. chairman, very well. but i think it's instructive to our citizens as a whole that members come from across this great land and have a lot of different issues. and i think it's insfructive that even members from congress -- instructive that even members of congress can be fighting illnesses and need life-saving medicine to do that. i don't think we're fundamentally opposed to the amendment. we don't think it does exactly what the author is claiming it will do. in this package in this bill, it's not -- obviously not going to go anywhere because the president's not going to sign
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this bill. it's not going to go through the senate. i would encourage, mr. chairman, speaking to you, i would encourage my colleague to come back and visit with us, that we start moving something that can get bipartisan agreement, that i think would be very instructive in looking at this as an addition. i'm speaking for myself, not for the ranking member of the full committee. because you're right. i think we need to have information and when government is helpful in creating the initial science that then goes over to the private sector, that then goes to creating blockbuster drugs, then we should know kind of the skin in the game, mr. chairman, and how much that is due to good federal policy, by not just legislators, but also our agencies who help push that research by n.i.h. or the c.d.c. or the national
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cancer institute. you know, had this bill been brought in the three prescription drug transparency, lower cost options, been brought to the floor, as i said before, and i'm not going to restate this every amendment debate, but we probably would have had a voice vote and we could have gone out for dinner. t it's attached to the obamacare rescue mission, which we think the public's already rejected. and so we'll get through this process. but i would encourage my colleague to join with the chairman of the committee and republicans to look at what we can do on this provision in the future. with that, i ask my colleagues to vote no and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it.
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he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. harder: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 116-61 offered by mr. harder of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentleman from california, mr. harder, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. harder: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of my amendment to the strengthening health care and lowering prescription drug costs act. families in my district in the california central valley need prescription drugs to go down in cost now. and they need access to care for
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every condition. including mental health and treatment for substance use disorders and that's exactly what my amendment is going to help with. the navigates that are help folks understand health care through the exchanges are -- navigators that help folks understand health care through exchanges are great. my amendment gives them tools. in most communities i visit, i hear from someone who has been touched by the opioid epidemic. and i'm no exception. when i was in high school i had a friend who was in a tough family situation. so i drove him to school every day for two years. he was one of the best golfers i ever met, had an amazing sense of humor. but after graduating, he developed an addiction to opioids. about five years ago we lost him to an overdose. stories like my friend's are far too common. about 130 americans die every single day from opioid overdose. folks with substance use
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disorder deserve access to care, just like everyone else, and every person in this country deserves prescription drugs that they can actually afford. it's for my friend and our loved ones all across the country who have struggled with this that i urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields ack the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i claim time in opposition and i would reserve my time unless my colleague had yielded back. i'm not sure what happened there. the chair: the gentleman has the only time remaining. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i'll yield myself such time as i may consume. again, i appreciate my colleague coming down to the floor, especially as an opening statement when he says he wants drug prices to -- drug costs to go down now. it's not going to happen now.
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because it's in a package that's not going to be accepted by the senate and the president's not going to sign. so if we really want this drug price to go down now, then we would have done what we did out of the full committee, we would have packaged this up with h.r. 965, the creates act, which is an bipartisan agreement that's a part of this -- that's a bipartisan agreement that's a part of this bill, that would penalize branded drug makers that withhold samples from generic manufacturers. we would have brought to the floor either separately or in a package h.r. 1499, the protecting consumers access -- consumers' access to generic drugs act, bipartisan out of the committee, this would ban pay for delay agreements, which are a problem. and we would have brought h.r. 938, the bringing low cost options and competition while keeping incentives for new generics, which is called the blocking act, which would limit first-approved generic makers'
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ability to stall another rival's launch. i think we all want to get there. i think we will get there. we still are going to go through this process. but make no mistake, this is not going to be signed into law, that we can go down to the white house for a ceremony. again, i would encourage my colleagues to work with the chairman of the energy and commerce committee, my good friend, frank pallone, and we can address this amendment and other processes and hopefully bring the bipartisan bill to the floor that would address a lot of other colleagues' concerns and really work on a bipartisan agreement that then, by that bipartisan approach, the senate would have to really look at it seriously and hopefully we would convince the president to sign the bill. that would be the most -- i'm just a simple man from southern illinois, taught high school civics, two chambers, president has to sign the bill.
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sometimes when we use all this time, it is for other purposes than really trying to have a bill become law. so with that, i would ask my colleagues to vote no on the amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. shimkus: mr. speaker. the chair: the amendment is agreed to. mr. shimkus: i ask for a recorded -- mr. harder: mr. speaker. the chair: the amendment is agreed to. mr. harder: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings offered by the gentleman from alifornia will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the
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gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. shalala: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 116-61 offered by ms. shalala of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. shalala, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. shalala: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. shalala: this amendment expresses a sense of congress that the secretary of health and human services should not do anything that prohibits state insurance commissioners from allowing for so-called silver loading. let me walk you through how we got to this point. because while silver loading has worked to keep costs on the exchanges lower for people who get subsidies, it has only been used because the administration
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was actively trying to kill the affordable care act. in 2017 the administration decided to stop reimbursing health insurance companies for what are called cost sharing reductions. c.s.r.'s. c.s.r.'s are payments that health insurance companies are required to make to help low and moderate income people afford health care. under the affordable care act, health insurance companies must help people have more affordable and possibly no co-pays or deductibles. the federal government was supposed to reimburse insurance providers for making these payments. however, in october of 2017, the administration stopped making these payments. this was a deliberate attempt to make health insurance on the exchange unaffordable and to undermine, weaken and attack the affordable care act. in response to this, the states,
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bipartisan states, including my own, let insurance plans do what is now called silver loading. state insurance regulators in a desperate and a very creative attempt to stabilize the insurance markets allowed insurance companies to build the unpaid c.s.r. costs into their silver plans on the exchange. this was not the solution anyone wanted, but it is a solution that has worked and has created some stability and predictability in the insurance markets in the face of an administration that seeks chaos. because the tax credits are benched to the silver plans, most that receive subsidies did not see an increase in their health insurance premiums. in fact, new data shows that 2.6 million exchange consumers are now paying lower premiums
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as a result of silver loading. states that allowed for silver loading as a way to cope with the manufactured chaos that the administration tried to inflict on the market actually saw an increase in enrollment in the exchange. the administration has to stop trying to sabotage the affordable care act. my amendment expresses that it is the sense of congress that the secretary of h.h.s. shall not do anything to prohibit the use of silver loading to stabilize the health insurance marketplaces. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i claim time in opposition, and i'd like to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes and reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. shalala: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from illinois is
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recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, obviously we rise in opposition to this. i stand -- i understand my colleague from florida has great expertise in this area and served in the previous administration, but when you have to subsidize a plan -- there's a couple problems. first of all, before obamacare came into being or the affordable care act -- i am not trying to be disrespectful -- you know, insurance was regulated by states. the new law yanked that away from states. to the point where they created a system of mandatory coverage that was unaffordable. so then part of the plan was, we need to subsidize these plans because actuarially they are not going to work without government intervention. now, the court case on this, we
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thought -- actually, i guess the court case is still pending -- can the federal government force someone to buy something they don't want to buy? we probably will hear another ruling on that. initially they said, yeah, the rebate shifted to the federal government has the power to tax versus, do you have the power to force someone to buy something they don't want to buy, so the supreme court, in that ruling, said since the federal government has the power to tax, this is really a tax, then, yeah, we can do this. so, then we had the rollout, and the rollout in, i think in the public's eye as a whole -- first, the delay because of the computer system, the network couldn't manage it. and then, just the cost. as i said before, premiums were way too high, deductibles were too high, people were forced to buy an insurance product they
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couldn't use. people would go in and say, i got coverage. the coverage is, you still got to pay the first $10,000 in deductibles. well, that's not good insurance. that's what we created in this national health care delivery system. the public rendered judgment, as they do, through the political process. republicans came back in control. now, what we're trying to do is return to federalism. we returned to states regulation of insurance. broe advise more options to -- provide more options to consumers. that's what's occurring now. so the higher costs -- i think there was a projection that 30% -- there was 30% increases until this last cycle when it was a 3% increase. why? well, because, under the law there are 1332 waivers which allows states to present another package. you see our citizens, our constituents voting with their feet to go these state-based plans.
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that's a good thing. so we're trying -- we don't want to turn the clock back again. that's why we -- i'd ask my colleagues to vote no on the gentlelady's amendment. i know brought well-intentioned and lovingly, i know. we reject that. i'd ask a no vote and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut seek recognition?
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mrs. hayes: mr. chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8 printed in house report 116-61 offered by mrs. hayes of california. mrs. haste: he already read it. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. hayes, and a member opposed, each -- mrs. hayes, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from connecticut. mrs. hayes: mr. chair, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. hayes: it is fitting that h.r. 987, a bill that would protect the progress of the affordable care act, should include language that would reinforce the federal navigator program, which provides outreach, education, and enrollment assistance to consumers looking to buy health insurance. the administration -- this administration has slashed funding for federal marketplace navigators in recent years with some states facing cuts near 96%, undermining the exchanges,
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and hindering the ability for consumers to choose the insurance plans that work best for them. my background in education makes it hard for me to understand why we would ever want to eliminate tools to help educate the public about how to access health care. it is even harder for me to understand why we would want to limit this critical funding just to states that operate within the federal marketplace. residents in states like california, new york, minnesota, and connecticut deserve to have the same opportunity as people throughout the rest of the country to learn about their health care options, to learn how to sign up for coverage, and to learn how this coverage will work. and so my amendment will open navigator funds to state-run marketplaces so that my home state of connecticut and the 11 other states that operate a state-based exchange could benefit from this funding. the affordable care act helped more than 20 million americans sign up for health insurance. people of color experience some
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of the largest gains in coverage under the affordable care act, finally reducing long standing racial disparities. but in recent years, my own state's exchange -- my own state's access health c.t. exchange experienced a marked decrease in enrollment in ommunities of color, a worrisome sign that the affordable care act may be slipping through our fingers cutting the navigator program does not help those that need help the most. it is this administration's subtle strategy to roll back protections of the affordable care act by reducing health care access as a last-ditch effort. the simple fact is that brokers do not always serve these communities. there is an urgent need to reinforce and expand outreach programs to make sure that we are reaching people in all zip codes of all demographics.
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state-based exchanges are already doing their part to be flexible, to invest in outreach, and to partner with all communities. access health c.t. even expanded their own enrollment period this year after the texas v. united states decision was unveiled in december. the exchange knew they had to combat misinformation, that the affordable care act was still intact despite the texas decision and that people could still sign up for coverage. state-based exchanges need all the help they can get to support these efforts. mr. chair, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. reserves. i beg your pardon. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? mr. walden: good afternoon, mr. chairman. i stand in opposition to the amendment and request time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. walden: mr. chairman, i'll reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized. mrs. hayes: how much time do i have?
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the chair: the gentlewoman has two minutes remaining. mrs. hayes: thank you. mr. chair, i want to point out an estimated 90 million americans still have low health literacy. these people are disproportionately lower income americans, elderly americans, and americans are low english proficiency. there is a clear need and urgency for the federal government to help these people in states that operate state-based exchanges, and there's precedent for my amendment. my state exchange has received roughly $3 million for the in-person assistance program from the federal government. the bottom line is that the rules of the road have changed since changing the requirement to provide health care coverage to all americans. there's never been a greater need to shore up programs that makes sure working americans, especially underserved populations, are protected and insured, that people in all communities know what their options are and know when and how to access these benefits. i strongly support h.r. 987.
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i think that my amendment will make it even better. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and now i yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from new jersey, the leader of this important bill, mr. pallone. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. i just think that the navigator program is so important and all the outreach that we have in these bills are important. i obviously support the gentlewoman's amendment because every effort to reach out and educate people about their options in the marketplace is so important. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized. mrs. hayes: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. chair. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. chairman. so let's talk about the navigator program. they enroll less than 1% today. less than 1%.
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"wall street journal" reported an investigation that one grantee took in $200,000 to enroll a grand total of one person. and they found the top 10 most expensive navigators collected $2.77 million taxpayer dollars. $2.77 million. do you know how many people they signed up? 314. they want to add $25 million $62,500,000 the in grants. we're talking about less than 1%. they say, oh, we got to educate people about their options. then, they put a gag rule in here saying we talk about short-term duration plans. no, you can't know about that. no, we're going to stop that. oh, you can't know about association health plan options either. might be better for you and your family and actually be more affordable. no, no.
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because that's not our federal decision here. they decide and they don't want you to even know so navigators can't talk about those things. that's gagged in this law. the amazing thing we never hear about is the good work of the trump administration and the economy as it's taken off. i say that in the context we've seen the lowest unemployment rates for virtually every american and group of americans wlrks it's african-americans, hispanic americans, you name it, we're seeing the lowest rates, in some cases, since they began keeping track of unemployment. so the economy's doing really well. over 3% g.d.p. growth the first quarter. so what's that meant for insurance? we've heard the constant, unrelenting attacks. you might as use impeachment at some point probably today. look, the number of employees in employer health coverage has increased by more than 2.5
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million under the -- since president trump took office. 2.5 million more americans are not having to get it through the government. they're getting it through a job and their employer. in fact, today there is a greater percentage of americans in employer health coverage since trump took office than anytime since 2000. anytime since 2000. see, there's another way to provide health care and that's through a job. now, i know those who support a full federal takeover of everybody's health insurance don't like to hear that because, see, they don't think that employers should offer health insurance. they think only the government knows best and so their medicare for all plan, which would cause great delays in access to care, drive up costs, you'd pay more, but it would take away your health insurance if you get it from your employer or if you get it from your union or if you're a senior on medicare and you have a medicare advantage policy, that goes away too.
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veterans with tricare, democrats, medicare for all program, that's gone too. so it's kind of ironic to talk about how wonderful the affordable care act is working for americans who, by the way, tell me, look, i am getting stuck with the highest deductibles and premiums i've ever seen. i can't afford it. we had an example from grand island, kansas, last week. a 60-year-old couple makes $70 a-year-old. they were paying $38,000 in premiums and $11,000 in deductibles. that's affordable insurance? i don't think so. that's we think states should have the ability to experiment here and regulate plans at the state level like they did under obamacare. all the talk about junk plans, by the way, those were approved under obamacare. those were allowed under obamacare. trump just allowed them to be there longer. because he changed something there is this automatic partisan response. i think we ought to come together here. i fought my entire legislative career in oregon and here to make health care more
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affordable. the underlying drug bills, there is no life between us, none between republicans and democrats. those bills came out of committee unanimously. the only reason we are having this fight on the floor today is because somewhere along the way the political operatives, mr. chairman, decided to bolt these two unrelated bills together, sets of bills together because they knew it would be a poison pill and kind of fun to watch republicans squirm on the floor. that's why we're here, but the obamacare bills we're voting on today just dump more money into programs that investigations have shown are filled with fraud and abuse. how can you justify putting another $25 million into a program where the top 10 most expensive flaff gators collected $2.77 million and signed up a grand total of 314 people? who in their right mind, mr. speaker, if you are in private business, would make that investment? las vegas review journal said after reading that, the navigator scheme is a -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. walden: ripe with
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corruption and highly susceptible to scam artists. mr. chairman, my time has expired. i yield back. . the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from connecticut. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 9 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from georgia seek recognition? mrs. mcbath: mr. chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in house report 116-61 offered by mrs. mcbath of georgia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentlewoman from georgia, mrs. mcbath, and a
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member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from georgia. mrs. mcbath: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. mcbath: thank you. i am so proud to be voting today to stabilize health care for millions of americans and to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. i came to congress, like many of my fellow colleagues, to protect health care for my constituents with pre-existing conditions and to make health care more affordable and accessible. i myself am a pre-existing conditioning -- pre-existing condition, having suffered breast cancer twice. my amendment today is focused on ensuring our future pharmacists and those in the work force are provided with materials regarding generic drugs and similar biological products. specifically it would have the secretary of health and human
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services and the secretary of education make every effort necessary to ensuring appropriate outreach to institutions of higher education to ensure that students and faculty at schools of pharmacy are provided with appropriate materials. this will allow for students and faculty to have materials on how generic drugs and similar biological products are uivalent, or like brand name drugs, the impact of these products on consumer costs, requirements for submitting these types of drugs with corresponding drug products, and the impacts of these products on consumer costs and more. pharmacists spend a great deal of time with individuals when they come to the counter to fill an order. they provide guidance and educate patients on the prescriptions that they are taking. i've even met with my own local pharmacist many, many times to
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discuss my own prescriptions. they are very intelligent individuals who are relied on by that i -- by their communities daily. by insilling them with the information that they need to know -- instilling them with the information they need to know to best help those that they serve, we will all be better off. i urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment and the underlying package. thank you, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? mr. walden: mr. chairman, i seek time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. walden: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from georgia is recognized. mrs. mcbath: i'd like to say that as a two-time breast cancer survivor myself, i have relied many, many times on the specific information and guidance that has been given to me by my own pharmacist. and our pharmacists should be allowed to be able to give as much resource information to
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help the patients that they serve. with tying their hands and not being able to give them the information that they need to really best serve their patients, we do them a great disservice. so i truly believe that this information is very relevant, giving the pharmacists the ability that they need to do their jobs is of great importance. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield such time as he may consume to america's only pharmacist in the u.s. house of representatives, buddy carter. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: well, i thank you for yielding. and i thank the ranking member for yielding. and i thank you for the opportunity to speak on this bill. first of all, let me begin by thanking the gentlelady from georgia for proposing this
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amendment. although i do find it unnecessary in a lot of ways, i have to admit that i applaud her because educating our health care professionals and therefore educating the public about what is available is extremely important. now, i do have to tell you that i feel the pharmacy schools already do a good job with this and this might be somewhat redundant. however, the underlying point is that more education is better. more -- even if it is more than -- even if it is overkill, if you will. now, you ask me, how can you say that? i have to say i have to be consistent. and i have been consistent throughout that we need to educate the public. in fact, if we look back at the debate that we've had in the committee, when we've been talking about the short-term plans, i've made the point that we need to educate the public as to what is available. they need to know. therefore, i would be inconsistent if i didn't agree
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with the lady that more education is better because i have to tell you that the short-term plans are, i believe that the other side refers to them as the junk plans, and i've always said, well, if they're junk plans now, they were junk plans during the obama administration. because they were being offered then. but those short-term plans, we need to let people know about them and that's why i made an amendment in the committee to educate the public about the availability of these plans. unfortunately my colleagues on the other side of the aisle disagreed with that, feeling that, no, they don't need to know about it. well, here we have an opportunity to let people know more. and i have to admit that i would be in favor of that. so i thank the gentlelady for offering this amendment and whereas i might be a little bit ambivalent toward which way to go, i have to admit that, again, consistency is important, short-term plans, we need to let people know about them. i fought for that. so i don't think i'd be
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consistent if i went against this. so i thank the gentlelady for offering this and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the comments from my friend from georgia, a distinguished member of the energy and commerce committee. we really have come to rely upon mr. carter for his guidance, especially on areas related to pharmacies and trying to get the cost of prescription drugs down for consumers. we are all about that. we worked together in the last congress to empower the f.d.a. to get more generics to market sooner so, we had more competition. that was -- sooner, so we had more competition. that was a bipartisan bill, that's the way we operated in the last congress, mr. chairman. as republicans and democrats, i led the committee. and we revamped everything at the f.d.a. and generics, on medical device approvals, on pharmaceuticals, so we could benefit the patient first. we brought those bills to the floor unanimously. we didn't mess around with them and package them up with poison
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pills. we said, let's go legislate. let's get this done. and they did. they got into law, signed by president trump. and guess what. last year the f.d.a. approved more generics in one year than any time in its history. so we did good things, led by republicans in the house, the republican leader of the senate, and president trump, joining with democrats. just as we have attempted to do on the drug bills before us today. we're at full agreement. stop the bad behaviors. get competition into the market. bring down costs of drugs. but we also believe we should make sure americans have choices that are more affordable when it comes to their insurance. democrats voted for obamacare, they blocked every amendment we had as republicans at the time that was legislated, and remember the former speaker, now speaker again, said, you have to pass it so we can find out what's in it. kind of an odd way to legislate. but anyway. here we are. by the way, the short-term plans they call junk plans on that side, mr. chairman, those
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short-term plans, the same ones we're debating today. except all president trump did is say, you can have them a little longer because, guess what, for some people it's the only affordable health insurance they have access to in their states. they're regulated by the states, they're not unregulated. states can do all kinds of things, we should empower them to do things to make insurance more affordable. and unlike my friends on the other side, mr. chairman, they want to gag the navigate source they can't even tell them about -- navigators so they can't even tell them about alternatives that may benefit them and be more affordable. the plans that the other side of the aisle's rail against, mr. chairman, today -- railing against, mr. chairman, today are plans like the ones approved under president obama and obamacare. it's just president trump said you can have them for longer if they work for you. but the states can come in and say, no, no. my state says, you know, just three months, that's it. boom. other states say 30 days. some states say none at all. so with that, mr. chairman, i'm not going to oppose this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from georgia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in house report 116-61. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from pennsylvania seek recognition san season -- ms. scanlon: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in house report 116-61 offered by ms. scanlon of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 377, the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, ms. scanlon, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from pennsylvania. ms. scanlon: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of an
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amendment to require greater accountability from the department of health and human services with respect to the affordable care act. time and time again we've seen republicans and the administration attempt to undermine the important work of the affordable care act. in addition to attempting to strip away protections for pre-existing conditions or reduce coverage for medicare -- medicaid recipients, the administration's trying to depress coverage by cutting consumer outreach and marketing for the a.c.a. not only does sabotaging the enrollment process make it harder for the american people to get health coverage, it drives costs up. and unfortunately this strategy has been working. we're currently at our highest uninsured rate in four years with the affordable care act enrollment rates declining every year this president has been in office. every day -- everyday americans like the folks in my district in southeastern pennsylvania can't afford more barriers to health care. when their choice is often between putting food on the table or going to the doctor,
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it's important that people have more information and access to the affordable care act marketplaces, not less. my amendment would require greater transparency from the administration, by requiring the secretary of health and human services to provide vital statistics on plan enrollment, outreach and advertising, and the overall performance of the programs within the a.c.a. this information will allow congress to perform better, quicker oversight on health and human services attempts to roll back information and outreach for potential affordable care act enrollees. no longer will the administration be able to hide its lack of investment in a.c.a. outreach, and education, or refuse to turn over data on how its say-nothing sabotage is hurting americans. i encourage members on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? mr. walden: thank you, mr.
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chairman. i seek time in opposition to the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. walden: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from ennsylvania. ms. scanlon: i urge members from both sides of the aisle to support this bill. and with that, i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from oregon. mr. walden: i thank the gentlelady from pennsylvania for her amendment. we're not going to object to the amendment. the states do a lot of this reporting. more information is better than less. i want to talk about these state regulated limited duration insurance policies. we have a chart here and will put it in the record, 27 of our states, 27, that have decided that short-term plans are good for their people to be able

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