WASHINGTON D.C. (WMTV) -- Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Madison) and Congressman Bryan Steil (R-Janesville) both have hope to see the president prioritize rising healthcare costs in 2020.
Importing cheaper prescription drugs to Florida was one of the most hotly contested fights of the 2019 legislative session. (Tom Varco/ CC BY-SA 3.0)
"The biggest issue at every town hall I host is health care and prescription drugs costs," Pocan said.
Steil expressed the same experience with health care being a top concern. He says there are a number of bills that have passed through committee waiting to be heard on the House floor, like the Spike Act, a bill that Steil co-sponsors.
The H.R.2069 - SPIKE Act looks to amend title XI of the Social Security Act to provide for drug manufacturer price transparency.
"What we are struggling with right now is a partisan divide in Congress," Steil said as an explanation to why certain health care bills have made it to the floor over others.
In December, Congress passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act with 230 votes in favor, and 192 against. It aims to establish a fair price negotiation program, protect the Medicare program from excessive price increases, and establish an out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare part D enrollees, and for other purposes.
Pocan voted in favor of the bill, and Steil voted against it.
The Senate has yet to take up the bill.
President Donald Trump hit on health care in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
"As we work to improve Americans' health care, there are those who want to take away your health care, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely," Trump said. "One hundred thirty-two lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million Americans. To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American health care."
President Trump later added, "If forcing American taxpayers to provide unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left. "