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Gus Bilirakis Gets Three Medicare Bills Approved by Health Subcommittee

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In a U.S. House Health Subcommittee markup this week, members passed 21 bipartisan bills to help ensure seniors on Medicare have access to the treatments and equipment that give them the best chance of improved quality of life, and that providers have the stability needed to ensure they can provide the best possible care to patients.

Three of those bills were co-authored by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla. More information about each measure is provided below.

The Cutting Copays Act would lower the cost of prescription drugs for the nation’s most vulnerable seniors by removing cost-sharing of generic medications for enrollees in Medicare Part D’s Low Income Subsidy Program.

“Record inflation has caused spikes in the costs of basic goods and services which have hurt those on a fixed income the most,” said Bilirakis. “Research shows us that we can help improve patient outcomes for our most vulnerable seniors by removing barriers to proper disease management and medication compliance. We can also reduce overall costs by incentivizing beneficiaries to choose cheaper generic, but just as effective, alternatives to expensive brand-name drugs. Seniors should never be forced to choose between buying groceries and buying their medications. By removing these copayments, we can help alleviate that burden.”

The Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act will improve patient outcomes and help avoid costly complications that often stem from this chronic illness by enhancing access in Medicare to education and diabetes self-management training services that have proven effective for beneficiaries.

“By providing diabetes patients with these self-management resources, seniors will be empowered to take control of their own health and well-being, and we can help mitigate the negative impact this disease has on them and their families,” said Bilirakis.

The Ensuring Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act of 2023 will provide Medicare coverage for medical devices that are approved under the FDA’s Breakthrough Devices Program. This would guarantee Medicare beneficiaries access to cutting-edge medical technologies by expediting the coverage determination process and improving the availability of breakthrough devices for patients. Currently, Medicare does not automatically cover the latest advances in medical technology, even when the products are approved or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and designated a breakthrough product. FDA-approved products can take over six years to go through the traditional Medicare coverage determination process, delaying vital treatments to millions of seniors.

“This legislation will help millions of seniors on Medicare by ensuring more timely access to the treatments they need,” said Bilirakis. “Additionally, there are more than 600 medical device companies in our state working to develop innovative and effective products. I’ve heard from many of these businesses about how these lengthy and unnecessary Medicare coverage delays create a significant barrier in bringing new products to market. This bill is about connecting patients with important devices and technologies quicker. Additionally, it is about encouraging innovation rather than stifling it. Government has to get out of the way and streamline the payment process for effective new devices that can ultimately help improve and save lives.”


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