NACDS-backed bipartisan legislation—H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act—got a boost from the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) recently in a letter to Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), who introduced the legislation. NACDS has consistently advocated for the bill, which currently has an impressive 203 cosponsors in the House and 43 cosponsors in the Senate.
The letter, penned by ATR President Grover Norquist, states, “While much of the healthcare debate has focused on ensuring individuals have health insurance and choice, less attention has been paid to whether individuals have access to the care they need.” Norquist references a potential shortage of 91,000 doctors by 2020, estimated by the Association of Medical Colleges, which would have a significant impact on medically underserved communities. The letter points out that “H.R. 592 would help address this problem by designating pharmacists as ‘non-physician providers’ under Medicare Part B.”
Norquist notes that while the legislation could increase costs at the outset, the long term savings would be considerable. Citing a report by the U.S. Surgeon General, Norquist compellingly states that “increasing access to care could provide $4 in healthcare savings for every $1 spent.” The letter outlines the comprehensive benefits of the legislation, which could streamline the healthcare system, improve access to care for patients and result in billions of dollars in savings. He concludes by stating the legislation should be “supported by all members of Congress.”