U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak
April 9, 2010 - U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), a longtime supporter of safety-net health care providers and expansion of the 340B drug discount program, announced today he will not seek re-election and retire after 18 years in Congress.
Stupak was instrumental in efforts to expand the 340B program to new hospitals in the new health care reform law. He was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 444, the bill that would expand 340B to new entities and extend the program to the hospital inpatient setting. Stupak also led the effort to expand the Medicaid drug rebate program to Medicaid managed care plans that was also included in the health care reform law.
Stupak spearheaded a successful effort to exempt 340B providers from a provision in the health reform bill that entitles Medicaid to rebates on drugs purchased through managed care organizations. The Stupak amendment was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and included in the final version of the bill. Without the exemption, covered entities likely would have had to forfeit their 340B savings on managed care drugs to Medicaid.
Pressed for Accuracy of Pricing
Stupak was also the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee in 2005 when Congress held its only hearing on the 340B program. He pushed the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve oversight of the program, particularly related to ensuring the accuracy of pricing under the 340B program and making sure that covered entities receive refunds when overcharged for a drug.
During the recent contentious debate over health reform, Stupak received a tremendous amount of attention due to his insistence on tougher abortion restrictions. The congressman eventually was satisfied with a compromise worked out with the Obama administration and became one of the decisive votes in favor of health reform. Stupak has come under fire from both sides of the abortion debate and has noted that he and his family have received death threats for voting in favor of health reform.