State Rep. Julie Calley speaks today during a press conference announcing the House’s bipartisan health care reform plan. She is joined by Rep. Bronna Kahle and House Speaker Jason Wentworth.
The Michigan House today unveiled a bipartisan plan to improve the quality of health care while making it more accessible and affordable for people in Michigan.
Speaker Jason Wentworth and Reps. Julie Calley, Abdullah Hammoud and Bronna Kahle are spearheading the plan with three main goals: Lowering the cost of prescription medicine, increasing access to care and making every level of the health-care industry provide a higher standard of care.
“No one should have to have to choose between putting food on the table or paying for the medicine they desperately need – and yet that is the daily reality for many people in our state,” said Calley, R-Portland. “Life-saving prescriptions are worthless if people can’t afford them. We must take action to save people money, save lives and make health care work for Michigan families.”
Among the proposed solutions are reforms to cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin, ensure access to life-saving treatments like oral chemotherapy, put a check on unregulated prescription middlemen who manipulate drug prices and pad their pockets with money instead of passing along savings to consumers, and hold drug companies accountable to the patients who are driving their record profits by requiring manufacturers to submit details on how their drugs are priced.
“This is simply about better health care that people can actually afford,” said Kahle, R-Adrian. “These cost-saving reforms are needed now more than ever, with so many people struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing pandemic. Saving money on health care could make a huge difference – for senior citizens living on fixed incomes and families working hard to get ahead.”
The bipartisan plan announced today will help ensure no Michigan family will have to go without access to quality, affordable health care.
“This package will help safeguard people from bad actors in the system who put profits over patients and protect people’s pocketbooks in the midst of a pandemic where so many families are struggling,” said Hammoud, D-Dearborn. “It will improve quality of care by adding transparency, creating accountability and prohibiting underhanded practices like non-medical switching.”
Other sponsors of the plan include Reps. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine), Andrew Beeler (R-Fort Gratiot), Ryan Berman (R-Commerce Township), Ann Bollin (R-Brighton Township), Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette), Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville), Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), John Roth (R-Traverse City), Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Township), Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), Angela Witwer (D-Delta Township) and Stephanie Young (D-Detroit).
“Michigan is home to some of the finest health systems and healthcare providers in the nation, if not the world. But too often, Michiganders can’t access or afford the healthcare they need because of where they live, what they do, or how much they earn,” Wentworth said. “The Michigan House of Representatives is going to change that. Today, we are introducing legislation to make sure that every Michigander has access to quality, affordable care. I’m grateful to Chair Kahle and Rep. Calley for their leadership. Given the bipartisan support for these issues, I’m confident we will get real reform done for the people of the state.”
A full list of proposed reforms included in the plan is available here: https://gophouse.org/posts/house-bipartisan-health-care-plan.
“I’m proud of the many, many Michiganders who stood up and took action to make certain that such a power grab never happens again,” said Calley, of Portland. “The people of our state are much better off when our government leaders work collaboratively to solve our state’s problems.”
“For far too long, kids in our local school districts have gotten less funding than those in more affluent areas of the state,” Calley said. “I’ve been fighting to right this wrong since I started serving. Whether they live in a small town or a bigger city, all Michigan students deserve equal funding. This budget finally accomplishes that goal.”