The Lower Healthcare Cost Act was introduced on 19 Jun 2019 in the 116th Congress. The bill was sponsored by Lamar Alexander, Senior Senator for Tennessee. The bill is aimed at making changes to the way health care services are delivered, the cost of the care and the health care coverage in the country. The bill puts prohibitions on healthcare facilities and healthcare providers from billing above the applicable rates for such services (Peterson F.2020).. The bill would require transparency in the healthcare sector. Healthcare providers would be required to give patients a list of services provided and the billing for each service upon discharge. The bill would also limit the prices that PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers) would charge on prescription drugs. The bill is also aimed at supporting vaccinations and data modernization through establishing grant programs. It would also require insurers to communicate to the insured the estimated out of pocket healthcare costs and other essential healthcare information (Govtrack. “S. (1895).).
The proposed policy was developed in relation to the increasing costs of healthcare in the United States. There is an evidence base that supports the policy. Data from various organizations and research shows that the United States has the most expensive healthcare system compared to other developed countries on the globe. A research on the Peterson Foundation shows that as of 2018, the United States spent over 3.6 trillion dollars on healthcare. That was about $11,000 per person for that year. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that the costs will almost double by 2028 (Debt.O 2019). For families with no insurance and limited budgets, the figures are alarming hence the need for the policy. Debt.org discusses healthcare costs that are incurred in hospital settings and how they are soaring to unimaginable heights. Hospital stays and surgeries are also pretty expensive, especially for patients that are
elderly. In their article, (Kimberly & Michael 2020) also provide evidence of how healthcare costs have risen. The authors cite the increase in the USA’s reliance on company-sponsored health insurance and the increase in chronic conditions in the population. The policy is thus relevant as evidence shows the issue it is trying to solve is prevalent.