Sen. Chuck Grassley: Lowering healthcare costs is top priority

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in an op-ed that lowering healthcare costs and increasing transparency across the medical system and in government will be one of his top priorities during this next legislative session.

In the op-ed published by KIOW 107.3 Radio, Mr. Grassley said that as a fiscal conservative, he believes in Americans' rights to pursue free enterprise and entrepreneurship. However, he contended the federal government "has a responsibility to go after companies that engage in unfair business practices and anti-competitive behavior that harms consumers and cheats taxpayers."

He specifically highlighted the rising cost of EpiPens, an issue that was first brought to him by Iowans in 2016. He said that throughout the course of his investigations into the issue, he discovered that the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program misclassified the EpiPen as a generic rather than a brand name drug.

"That misclassification may have resulted in taxpayers and states overpaying for EpiPen by as much as $1.3 billion over 10 years," he wrote.

"As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I'll continue these efforts and build upon the achievements of previous years in a bipartisan way," Mr. Grassley said. "My top priorities include lowering healthcare costs — including prescription drug costs, increasing quality of care for seniors, addressing rural healthcare needs and conducting rigorous oversight of the ACA, the healthcare nonprofit sector and executive federal healthcare agencies. Working together, we can build bipartisan solutions that will greatly improve our healthcare system."

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