Bending the Health Care Cost Curve Down

Moving Health Care Into the 21st Century Will Help Americans Save Money

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees major health care programs like Medicare, Sen. Thune continues to look for ways to reduce health care costs for American families and small businesses.

Highlights of Sen. Thune’s Efforts to Decrease Health Care Costs:

  • Voted to Repeal Obamacare:
    • For millions of Americans, Obamacare led to canceled coverage and higher costs.
    • Sen. Thune opposed the bill when it was considered in the Senate and voted to repeal the law, which would have opened the door to replacing it with a more market-driven approach to reduce costs and increase access to care.
  • Paying for Quality, Not Quantity:
    • In 2015, Sen. Thune supported legislation to reform how the federal government reimburses doctors that see seniors. The bill places an emphasis on rewarding quality of care delivered instead of paying per visit.
    • Seven provisions authored by Sen. Thune were included in this legislation, one of which removes restrictions on the use to tele-health technology within future payment models.
  • Achieved Medicare Advantage Demonstration to Bring Down Costs:
    • In May 2015, Sen. Thune introduced the Value-Based Insurance Design Seniors Copayment Reduction Act, which would create a chronic care demonstration project within a popular insurance program for seniors to make it easier for seniors to manage multiple conditions.
    • In September 2015, the administration announced it would begin this demonstration project within certain seniors’ insurance plans.
  • Helped Lead Effort to Digitalize Medical Records:
    • In 2013, Sen. Thune authored a paper outlining concerns with a federal program incentivizing implementation of electronic health records.
    • Since publication of that report, Sen. Thune has authored various amendments to ensure doctors’ records may be seamlessly shared, which would reduce health care costs by avoiding duplicative tests and procedures.