After talking with his constituents before the midterm elections, Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) said voters want more transparency in the healthcare system, and many are already confused about what they’re paying with insurance copays and deductibles.
Coons also said at the Coalition for Healthcare Communication’s post-election conference that he is concerned about the proposed rule to put list prices in DTC ads, saying the number could be misleading to patients.
“I hear a lot of concerns about what [patients] will pay,” Coons said on Monday evening. “The price consumers pay and the list price are significantly disconnected. I’m concerned about broadcasting on national TV these list prices and how this will improve a patient’s ability to access medicines.”
Coons said he supports legislation such as the SPIKE Act, which would require drugmakers to submit justifications for increasing prices.
With the Democrats’ victory in the House of Representatives dooming GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Coons said he hopes Congress can work together to stabilize the insurance market instead of chipping away at the ACA.
“[Lawmakers] can continue to beat it, drown it, and wait for it to die, or we can stabilize the markets and cover pre-existing conditions,” Coons said. “We should accept that certain parts of the ACA are here to stay.”
In the days after the midterms, Republican legislative leaders acknowledged that repealing the Affordable Care Act would be extremely unlikely with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives. “I think it’s pretty obvious that a Democratic House is not going to be interested in that,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly said. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), likely the next speaker of the House, said Democrats will look to compromise with President Donald Trump and the GOP on drug prices.
Coons also found that his constituents want Congress to work together on issues from healthcare to guns and said the divided Congress shows the public wants bipartisanship.
“They hope we will actually listen to each other and work together and move forward,” he said.