November 08,2023

Crapo, Wyden Applaud Committee Passage of Legislation to Improve Mental Health Care, Lower Drug Costs and Extend Essential Medicaid and Medicare Programs

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Chair Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) today lauded committee passage of the Better Mental Health Care, Lower Drug Cost and Extenders Act, which was reported out of committee 26-0.

The legislation expands mental health care and substance use disorder services under Medicaid and Medicare, reduces prescription drug costs for seniors at the pharmacy counter, extends essential Medicaid and Medicare provisions that will expire this year, and increases Medicare payments to support physicians and other providers.

“This comprehensive legislation will reduce out-of-pocket medication costs for seniors, enhance accountability in our federal health care programs, improve access to high-quality mental health services, and extend critical support for clinicians and suppliers,” said Crapo.  “I thank Senator Wyden and every member of the Committee for their partnership in this effort, and look forward to advancing this comprehensive, deficit-cutting, bipartisan legislation.”

“Once again this committee has come together in the fight to expand access to mental health care and rein in the shadowy tactics by pharmacy benefit managers that hurt community pharmacies and drive up prescription drug costs for seniors and taxpayers – all while also making sure essential Medicaid and Medicare programs can continue,” said Wyden.  “I am proud of the work accomplished today, and I want to thank Ranking Member Crapo for his leadership and members of the committee for their contributions throughout this process and for the work that is to come.”

Recent Finance Committee health care efforts have drawn support from a strong coalition of Idaho groups, including the American Nurses Association Idaho, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Academy of Family Physicians, Idaho Center for Nursing, Idaho Medical Association, Idaho Retailers Association, Idaho State Pharmacy Association, Idaho Technology Council, National Alliance on Mental Illness Idaho, North Idaho Alliance of Care, Nurse Leaders of Idaho, and Nurse Practitioners of Idaho; AARP Idaho; Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions; the Alliance of Community Health Plans; the Arthritis Foundation; the Coalition of State Rheumatological Organizations; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; the National Community Pharmacists Association; the National Consumers League; and a large coalition of patient groups.  Today’s legislation is supported by the American Association of Senior Citizens; American College of Physicians; American Hospital Association; American Pharmacists Association; American Psychiatric Association; Bipartisan Policy Center; CIVICA; Food Industry Association; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; National Association of Manufacturers; National Association of Specialty Pharmacy; National Council for Mental Wellbeing; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; and a large coalition of groups.

Click here for more information on the legislation, including a description of the Chairman’s Mark and a section-by-section summary.