Rep. Murphy Interrogates CMS on Medicare Part D Drug Rule

House Energy & Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately withdraw their new proposal to restrict access to mental health drugs for senior citizens on Medicare Part D plans. Dr. Murphy's remarks, which are included below, were made at a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health entitled, "How CMS' Attack on the Part D Program Will Increase Costs and Reduce Choices for Seniors."

Last month, Rep. Murphy wrote to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner requesting information about the clinical basis of the new agency proposal to remove "protected class" status for two categories of non-interchangeable mental health drugs. He also authored the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act, which would codify current agency policy known as "protected classes" for classes of antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications.

Today, Rep. Murphy, who is a clinical psychologist, called on CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum to withdraw the proposal, citing a letter from the American Psychiatric Association that disputes the clinical justification for the agency action. The APA stated that CMS had "misinterpret[ed] and misrepresent[ed] APA's clinical practice guidelines multiple times as justification for limiting patient access to medically necessary psychotropic medications."

Rep. Murphy Interrogates CMS on Medicare Part D Drug Rule

7 thoughts on “Rep. Murphy Interrogates CMS on Medicare Part D Drug Rule

    • WOW! I just heard this video and can only say, “Thank you, Mr. Murphy, for standing up for seniors with mental health problems.” He stood up to Mr. Blum, a typical government bureaucrat, who was not qualified to be making medical decisions that impact on many of us. It’s nice to know there are “good and effective” representatives in Washington. Just wish we had more of them.

  1. Sadly measures like this will become ever more common and sadly like it is custom of politicians, reason and logic will not prevail. hopefully doctors and healthcare professionals will unite against all measures like this.

    • I totally agree that those in a position of power who have no idea what a SSRI is shouldn’t be making policies against those who need them.

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