Chairman Alexander: In the Senate, Mike Rounds Has Been Focused on Results

Posted on May 3, 2019

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, May 3, 2019 — U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said “Mike Rounds has been focused on getting results since coming to the Senate” at a roundtable discussion on how to reduce health care costs.

Alexander continued, “For example, he worked closely with me last year on a bipartisan proposal that independent analysts said would have lowered health insurance premiums by up to 40 percent over three years. Sen. Rounds also cosponsored a bill last year that became law to help Indian tribes better address the opioid epidemic. And this year, in lieu of bipartisan action on Obamacare in a divided Congress, he recognizes the need to tackle the broader problem of rising health care costs.”

Alexander concluded, “I’m grateful to Mike for his partnership in the Senate and for inviting me to South Dakota today to discuss our efforts to pass bipartisan legislation to help create better health care experiences, better health care outcomes and lower health care costs for patients.”

Senator Rounds added, “I’m grateful to have Chairman Alexander join me in South Dakota to hear firsthand the unique challenges facing our health care community. I thank today’s roundtable participants for joining us as we seek to address the pressing issues surrounding health care so that every American has access to quality, affordable health care coverage.”

Background:

The Senate health committee Alexander chairs held five hearings last year on how to reduce health care costs. The committee also held four hearings to explore specifically the costs of prescription drugs.

Alexander sent a letter at the conclusion of the last Congress to the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institute, governors, state insurance commissioners, economists, doctors, hospitals, patients, and innovators asking for specific recommendations about what Congress could do to help lower the cost of health care services. The Senate health committee plans to mark up legislation based on those recommendations this summer.

The recommendations received by the committee include increasing transparency, lowering prescription drug costs, eliminating surprise billing, expanding primary care, improving electronic health records and addressing consolidation.

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