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Washington, D.C. – The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) honored U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, with the Affordability Champion Award for her work to lower health care costs through bipartisan, commonsense solutions.
“Policymakers rely on the expertise and analysis that the Council for Affordable Health Coverage provides to determine what reforms can reduce health care costs and increase coverage,” said Senator Collins. “I welcome your continued efforts to help us reduce these unacceptable costs and ensure more people have access to coverage, and I am honored to have been selected as an Affordability Champion.”
“Senator Collins has been a champion for lower health costs and access to quality health coverage in every sense of the word. When the debate over the Affordable Care Act was at its most rancorous, it was Senator Collins who reached across the aisle, partnering with Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on commonsense market stabilization solutions – including a reinsurance proposal that we estimated would have lowered average premiums by 9 to 11 percent. Senator Collins has also worked with Democrats and Republicans alike on CAHC-supported legislation to protect Mainers from seeing their shifts and wages cut under the healthcare law and, as Chairwoman of the Special Committee on Aging, has been a tireless and thoughtful advocate for quality care for our nation’s seniors. We could not be prouder to bestow her with this well-deserved honor,” said CAHC President Joel White.
As the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Collins has made it a priority to lower the soaring costs of prescription drugs. In October, Senator Collins’ legislation to prohibit the use of pharmacy “gag clauses” was signed into law after passing both the House of Representatives and the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act prohibits an egregious practice that concealed lower prescription drug prices from patients at the pharmacy and caused consumers to needlessly overpay.
Last year, Senators Collins and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Lower Premiums Through Reinsurance Act, bipartisan legislation that would have significantly reduced health insurance premiums and helped to stabilize the individual market. The latest iteration of the bill would have provided $10 billion in federal reinsurance annually for three years. According to some estimates, this level of funding could have reduced premiums in the individual market by as much as 40 percent in two years, while expanding coverage to an additional 3.2 million Americans. Although the Lower Premiums Through Reinsurance Act failed to move forward this year, Senator Collins remains committed to policies that will reduce health care costs and expand coverage.
The CAHC Affordability Champion Award is given annually to Members of Congress, administration officials, and congressional staff. CAHC is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage.