Sinema-Backed Bipartisan Bill Cuts Red Tape, Makes Health Care More Accessible for Arizonans

Mar 11, 2021

Senator’s bipartisan legislation protects Arizonans and their doctors from “step therapy” or “fail first” delays in getting the care they need.

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Safe Step Act—bipartisan legislation that help Arizonans access the best health care and medical interventions for their needs. Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Safe Step Act in the 116th Congress.
“We’re making health care more accessible to Arizonans by ensuring doctors can prescribe the medical treatments patients need, without unnecessary delays or bureaucratic red tape,” said Sinema.
The Safe Step Act requires group health plans to provide exceptions from medication step therapy protocols. Step therapy is a cost-management tool that insurers use to steer doctors to first try lower-cost medicines, before being allowed to prescribe higher-cost, newer, or innovative treatments. There may be times when an older or generic option may be available and just as effective for a patients’ needs. However, overuse of this cost-management tool can become extremely burdensome to doctors and patients when they are forced to first “fail” through several medications before being able to access the one their doctor prescribed for them.
In March 2019, Sinema partnered with Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) opposing the use of step therapy on certain classes of Medicare drugs.