In a race to show how quickly they can destroy the greatest nation in human history, Democrats have driven the price of oil through the roof, opened the door to hyper-inflation, desecrated our military, broken Trump's Middle East peace, facilitated an invasion on our southern border, threatened to destroy suburbs the way they have inner cities and ordered racist brainwashing of the federal workforce. All in just a few short months.
And now, they want to come for our health care.
Undaunted by the disaster of Obamacare – the biggest giveaway private insurance companies could have possibly received – Democrats now want to make even more reforms to frustrate our health care system. Think they want another bite at the apple that we need to keep the doctor away.
In June, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released a five-point proposal aimed at ostensibly lowering American's prescription drug costs. These points were drawn from House Democrat's controversial, dangerous drug-pricing bill, H.R.3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which has long been under fire from health experts, conservatives and even some Democrats.
Wyden's legislation would allow for government “negotiations” in Medicare Part D, institute an inflation penalty on drug prices and cripple our patent system – the same patent system that came up with a coronavirus vaccine at, if one might borrow the phrase, warp speed.
If feeling generous, one might give the Democrats the benefit of the doubt that these policy items are well-intentioned but flawed. If feeling honest, one might say that these are designed to create problems that sabotage our system and keep them in power.
Either way, the end result of Wyden's plans (as with virtually everything Democrats have come up with in the last 20 years) would be less access to care and fewer cures in the future.
Medicare Part D is probably the Bush administration's most successful legacy item. It has expanded health care access while saving the government money because seniors are getting less-expensive treatments before they need more-expensive ones.
When passed in 2003, it created a non-interference clause which prevents the secretary of Health and Human Services from interfering in price negotiations between Part D plans, drug manufacturers and pharmacies. The goal was to let free-market competition drive prices down. Even Bush's harshest critics admit that it worked, because it did.
However, that's not good enough for Wyden, Biden and the rest of the Democrats hiding in the shadows. Repealing Part D's non-interference clause would drastically damage patient access to medications.
The Congressional Budget Office has said that letting the secretary interfere with this process would have “little, if any, effect on prices,” disrupt current treatment plans and create a national pricing formulary that would make no one happy but federal bureaucrats.
The plan would also allow the government to institute inflation penalties in both Part D and Part B based on the list price of the drug, which would replace privately negotiated rebates and with government-imposed penalties.
In the commercial market and Medicare today, price protection rebates are often negotiated to increase rebates paid to the health plan or pharmacy benefit manager if a drug's list price increases more than a pre-determined amount. Proposals that might arbitrarily penalize treatments are a step backward for everyone, especially sick patients.
Worst of all, Wyden's plan would attack those “evil” pharmaceutical companies that create the life-giving medicines we all depend on. In the name of making sure Big Pharma doesn't keep earning its “horrible” profits, the legislation would impose price controls on new drugs.
This sounds nice, because then everyone could get access to new medicines, not just the elite … but by undermining our intellectual property system it would instead destroy those new medicines.
Creating almost 60% of new biopharmaceutical patents every year, the U.S. leads the world in the creation of new medical treatments. Dismantling the patent structure that provides incentives in the face of the long, expensive, uncertain road to discovery would steer researchers off of it.
If there is no profit motive to make new drugs, the smart, hard-working people who do that would instead focus their time and energy on new flavors of potato chips.
Instead of giving the government even more authority over our drug-pricing system, we should instead implement real reforms that lower out-of-pocket costs while preserving access and quality of care, like increased transparency, capping out-of-pocket costs in Part D and sharing discounts absorbed by the supply chain.
Let's stick with the system that gave us the COVID vaccine in record time rather than add the health care system to pile of casualties in the Democrats' warpath against America.
Jared Whitley is a long-time politico who has worked in the U.S. Congress, White House and defense industry. He is an award-winning writer, having won best blogger in the state from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists (2018) and best columnist from Best of the West (2016). He earned his MBA from Hult International Business School in Dubai. Read Jared Whitley's reports — More Here.
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