US Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana (Source: US Senate)
WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) -
US Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is at the center of a debate on Capitol Hill regarding a federal program for medical drugs.
A Senate committee is reviewing the 340-B Drug Pricing Program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide discounted drugs to hospitals that serve low-income Americans.
Cassidy has an issue with this program. He says there's not enough accountability with the savings that hospitals get from this program. He believes it's being spent on other needs, as opposed to going back to the patients, giving them less care for more money.
"As a doctor, this means a lot to me," said Cassidy. "We have raised the cost of care. There is no improvement in mortality outcomes and, indeed, the lower income patient is less likely to be seen."
Cassidy has introduced a bill in the Senate he calls the "Help Act," which would make hospitals report the use of their extra dollars more frequently. That bill is currently being reviewed by this same committee.
Other lawmakers say the program is fine the way it is and helps keep drug prices low for people who need them.