Last Thursday, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) introduced HR 4054 in the House of Representatives “To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to restore and protect access to Medicaid discount drug prices for university-based and safety-net clinics.” It is being referred to as the “Prevention Through Affordable Access Act.”
In plain language, the bill would restore the ability of colleges and non-profit “safety net” clinics to obtain reduced price contraception from pharmaceutical companies. As noted in a previous post, when the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 took effect this year, it prevented such arrangements and caused birth control prices to spike on college campuses. According to a press release issued by Crowley:
“As a result, many college clinics have stopped making birth control available to their students. For the colleges and universities that still do, prices have shot up from an average of $5 to nearly $50 per month. All told, many hard-working women can no longer access FDA-approved methods of birth control.”
The House bill currently has 103 cosponsors, and has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.