Home  |  Blog  |  Letter to Congress: Health care policy should put patients first

Letter to Congress: Health care policy should put patients first

In a letter to Congress, the Chronic Care Policy Alliance (CCPA) urged members to pursue policies that ensure accessible and affordable care for patients. Read the full letter:

Dear Legislator,

As the U.S. faces many urgent and emergent challenges, including COVID-19 and the economic downturn the virus has caused, Congress clearly has a lot on their plate. But, as we face a health crisis, lawmakers must advance policy that puts the needs of patients first. As an advocate for the chronically ill, I urge you to ensure that patient access to quality, affordable health care remains at the top of your priority list.

Unfortunately, some policies and proposals threaten access to affordable care for patients, including:

  • The 2019 bill, HR3, that proposed allowing the government to set the price of prescription medications, which would ultimately result in more restricted access to treatments for patients
  • Foreign Reference Pricing, which, if approved, would allow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set the price of medications based on the weighted average price of six other countries. This proposal does not take into account access under this pricing model, or that patients will have fewer drug options
  • Copay accumulator programs, which disallow patient copay assistance from counting toward patient deductibles, and raise costs for vulnerable patients who rely on that assistance to reduce the amount they must pay out-of-pocket and help them afford their medications throughout the year
  • Prescription drug rebates, which are negotiated with drug manufacturers by companies known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) on behalf of health insurance companies, that do not benefit patients at all. Effective reform of the rebate program will ensure that the majority of rebate dollars are passed directly on to patients, not insurers

This legislative session will require much focus, but it also brings forth new opportunities to advocate for some of the most vulnerable among our population. I urge you to consider how the policies and issues listed impact patients, and how proper reforms can advance the well-being of all patients. The U.S. is struggling with a number of recent challenges, but the ongoing needs of the chronically ill must not go by the wayside.

Please do not hesitate to reach out directly with any questions.


Liz Helms


Chronic Care Policy Alliance