Senator Carper Advocates for Vital Health Care Programs in President’s Budget Proposal

Yesterday at the Senate Finance Committee hearing “The President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Health and Human Services Budget,” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) heard from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra about the President’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2025.

During the hearing, Senator Carper highlighted how the Inflation Reduction Act is working to reduce health care costs for American families nationwide:

“As you know, last Congress, we passed, and the President signed into law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). This landmark legislation included many provisions to lower the high cost of prescription drugs. The IRA capped the cost of insulin, for example, at $35 a month for Medicare beneficiaries, made recommended vaccinations available at no cost, capped out of pocket spending for Medicare Part D beneficiaries at $2,000 annually, and authorized Medicare to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers for certain high expenditure drugs. We’ve made historic progress in making healthcare accessible and more affordable. We’re not done. But we’re heading in the right direction.”

Senator Carper also highlighted the need to work together to address the growing public health crisis of obesity, and advocated for his legislation, the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act:

“Despite obesity being formally recognized as a disease, access to medical treatment for obesity remains limited. […] That’s why I reintroduced the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act with Senator Cassidy in this Congress. This legislation would expand Medicare coverage of intensive behavior therapy for obesity, and would authorize Medicare prescription drug benefit to cover medications that are used for the treatment of obesity. I’ve been a proud champion of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act for over a decade. Investments in obesity as a disease are long overdue.”

Additionally, Senator Carper emphasized the importance of extending the Hospital at Home waiver program:

“The COVID-19 pandemic taught us a lot of lessons, one of those we now have the opportunity to learn from […]. One example [is the] Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver Program, known as Hospital at Home. We saw the demand for home-based care rise during a pandemic when hospitals and health care facilities were overcapacity and patients preferred to receive their care at home. […] Since its enactment, we’ve seen the Hospital at Home program become a true success story. It’s proven to deliver higher reported patient satisfaction along with positive patient outcomes and potential cost savings to ensure that patients and their providers would have access to the Hospital at Home program for two years beyond the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here