U.S. Senator, and former Florida Governor, Rick Scott met with health care professionals , local lawmakers and patients Monday morning at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce to discuss his efforts to make health care affordable.
People at the roundtable with diabetes, cancer and immune disorders shared their experiences with the soaring cost of insulin, anti-rejection medications, and other prescription medicines.
Some of them pay $3,000 or more a month.
Scott introduced the "Transparent Drug Pricing Act" to try to address this issue.
"We shouldn't be paying more than Japan, or Canada. or U.K. or Germany or France for drugs,” Scott said.
The bill would require drug companies to list out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs - and for insurance companies to release those costs in their plans so consumers can comparison shop.
The plan would also require drug companies to charge American patients the same prices they charge Canadians and Europeans.
Scott says affordable health care is a team effort, so his office is soliciting ideas for ways to make medication and insurance more affordable:
“All of us have got to figure out how do we make health care more affordable. We know if we want more people to get health care, we have to figure out how to make it affordable. Government has got to play a role in trying to make sure the system works better,” Scott said.
Scott's proposal won’t involve importing drugs from other countries - unlike a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law asking the federal government to allow cheaper prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.
Scott's second bill, the Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act, will attempt to end the practice of "surprise medical billing,” which happens when patients go to a hospital that is in their insurance network, but are billed by a doctor or specialist who isn't.
Scott encourages patients and health care professionals to reach out to his office with their "as specific as possible" suggestions for how to lower health care costs.
How to reach Sen. Scott's office:
801 North Florida Avenue
Tampa FL 33602
Phone: (813) 225-7040
111 N. Adams St.
Tallahassee FL 32301
Phone: (850) 942-8415
716 Hart Senate Office
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5274