President’s Budget Proposal Supports ACHP Priorities

Rachel Schwartz
Alliance of Community Health Plans
202-785-2247 (office)
202-251-8881 (cell)

For immediate release February 11, 2016
Washington, D.C.
– President Obama’s final budget proposal, sent to Congress yesterday, supports the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) priorities in these major areas:

  • Drug Pricing. The budget sets forth a significant set of proposals to rein in the unsustainably high cost of prescription drugs. These include promoting transparency by requiring reporting of pharmaceutical production costs; prohibiting anticompetitive pay-for-delay between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies; and authorizing the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate prices for biologics and high-cost drugs.
  • Telehealth. The proposed budget would finally allow seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) to use telehealth services. Specifically, the secretary of HHS is given the discretion to expand use of telehealth from solely rural areas under limited conditions.
  • Medicare Advantage Benchmark Cap. The Administration explicitly recognizes that payments to high-quality MA plans in some areas have been reduced or eliminated through a “benchmark cap.” The proposal would lift the cap, allowing 4-, 4.5- and 5- star plans to expand benefits to members with their full quality incentive payment.

“With his 2017 budget proposal, President Obama has made clear he espouses the priorities of ACHP and its member plans,” says ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly. “From boldly taking on soaring drug prices and appropriate prescribing of opioids to appreciating the importance of telehealth for care coordination and consumer access to maintaining bonuses for high quality care, the President is demonstrating leadership on issues that matter to our members and, most importantly, average Americans.”

Alliance of Community Health Plans The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. ACHP’s member health plans provide coverage and care for more than 18 million Americans. These 22 organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care, including primary care redesign, payment reforms, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @_ACHP.