After some uncertainty in selecting the speaker of the House of Representatives, the 118th Congress has begun its first session. The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) urges Congress to work across the aisle to pass commonsense, bipartisan legislation to improve the lives of people with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and other serious and chronic health conditions.

Here are PHA’s legislative priorities for 2023:

Implement the Inflation Reduction Act. This law, passed in 2022, brings much-needed financial relief to Medicare beneficiaries, starting with a $35 cap on monthly insulin costs for 2023. Additional benefits will be rolled out over the next several years. Those benefits include a $2,000 deductible cap and out-of-pocket cost-smoothing, which  would allow people to spread  out-of-pocket costs over the plan year. The law also will allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for beneficiaries. PHA will monitor the legislation’s implementation and advocate for elements that fully meet the needs of people with PH.

Expand oxygen access. The near-disappearance of liquid oxygen from many regions has negatively affected health and quality of life for people with PH. This topic has been gaining attention as PHA educates lawmakers and collects personal stories.

Limit benefits management and protecting copay assistance. PHA urges lawmakers to reintroduce the Safe Step Act and other bills that would decrease benefits management policies that impede patient access to PH therapies recommended by their health care providers. Those policies include prior authorization, as well as fail-first policies,  which require patients to try and fail different, typically cheaper medications before insurance will cover the physician-recommended treatment. PHA also asks Congress to reintroduce the H.E.L.P. Copay Act, which would reduce out-of-pocket health care costs by protecting access to financial assistance.

PHA’s advocacy is only as strong as the voice of the PH community. Whether your elected officials are new or returning members of Congress, now is a great time to connect with them and make sure they understand the importance of fighting for the PH community. Visit PHA’s Action Center to easily share your PH story through our customizable email template. Contact your members of Congress today.

For more information about PHA’s advocacy work, email us or call 301-565-3004 x 758.