American Health Policy Institute Call Features Pelosi Advisor on Drug Pricing and Surprise Medical Billing Legislation

October 11, 2019

As part of the relaunch of the American Health Policy Institute, Dr. Wendell Primus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Senior Policy Advisor on Budget and Health, spoke on an Institute-sponsored, Association-wide call to discuss the House drug pricing plan and surprise medical billing legislation.

David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer at Marriott International, kicked off the call stating “health care costs and affordability are near or at the top of most Americans’ priority issues” and legislation moving in Congress “could have a significant impact on employer health care costs.”

In stressing the importance of acting legislatively on drug prices before 2020, Dr. Primus referenced the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll from February 2019, which found that three in ten adults reported not taking their medication as directed in the past year due to costs.

Dr. Primus detailed the provisions of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) and urged the attendees to review the cost estimates of the bill when they are released by the Congressional Budget Office, as he feels confident it will show a reduction in costs for employers.  Opponents of the bill argue the bill institutes price controls, which will result in less innovation and hinder competition.

While lowering prescription drug prices and banning surprise medical bills have broad public support, it remains to be seen if lawmakers, under increased pressure to pass legislation addressing these issues, can come to a compromise.

The call illustrates just one of the many benefits of the American Health Policy Institute.  The Institute will host more conference calls like this for its members, covering issues in health policy that are relevant to senior HR executives and their teams, and will develop and advocate for positions on these issues.  If you are interested in joining the Institute, please contact AHPI President Mark Wilson at or Margaret Faso at