U.S. Congress Models Prescription Drug Bill after Senate Bill 71
A United States Senate Committee introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday aimed at lowering health care costs, including provisions largely modeled off State Auditor Matt Rosendale’s legislation to lower prescription drug costs in Montana.
“The Health Committee of the United States Senate has recognized the benefit of going after these pharmacy benefit managers as they see the benefit to the consumer,” said Rosendale. “By keeping all those additional revenues that they have been collecting and directing those back in to the consumer, and so they have added that language to a piece of legislation that they have proposed as part of a big health care reform, similar to what we did here in my office.”
Rosendale said if the Montana Legislature can simply override Governor Bullock’s veto of SB71, Montana would be leading the way on this issue.
“As we have discussed before, if we can just get Senate Bill 71 from our current legislators to override the Governor’s veto, we’ll be able to implement the provisions of that federal legislation right now, here at the state level instead of waiting two years for our next legislative session to convene,” he said.
Rosendale said both sides of the aisle have come together to sponsor the federal legislation.
“They have good bipartisan support on this,” he said. “Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican out of Tennessee and Senator Patty Murray, a democrat out of Washington State got together and cosponsored this legislation to show that we really can work together and get some things done,” he said.
Rosendale’s office has been in regular contact with the U.S. Senate HELP Committee over the past year, providing insights and suggestions to lower the cost of prescription drugs.