There’s an enormous difference between acting kind and actually being kind. Parents frequently encounter this, where they have to set restrictions on their children’s behavior that may not be nice in the short term, but are vital for the long-term — things like bed times, homework and eating vegetables. Being a “cool mom” — like Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls — does far more harm to children than good.
But in trying to address our nation’s health care future, guess which approach Nancy Pelosi wants to take?
Under her grim leadership, Democrats in the House of Representatives have introduced HR 3, the sweetly titled Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Billed as “historic” and “empowering,” HR 3 promises to lower the cost of prescription drugs, end the cost gap between the amount Americans and others pay for medicine, reverse years of unfair price hikes and cap seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
Amazing! Who wouldn’t want all of these historic and empowering changes?
Well, anyone paying attention. See this is the Democrats acting kind instead of actually being kind — while also seizing as much power for themselves and their corporate interests as they possibly can. HR 3 is billed as the silver bullet to finally kill all our health care woes, but it’s actually shooting the U.S. health care system in the foot.
In short, the legislation would cripple any pharmaceutical company’s R&D budget, meaning the life-changing, life-saving medicines of the future will never happen — medicine like the coronavirus vaccine that Speaker Pelosi insists every member of Congress should be forced to take.
In the name of being “historic” and “empowering,” the bill would apply an outrageous tax on prescription medicine, so if a drug manufacturer doesn’t enter negotiations with the secretary of Health and Human Services on a “a maximum fair price,” HHS would slap it with a tax equal to 95% of annual gross sales.
This means that the Pelosi prescription tax could easily surpass 100% of profits: so drug manufacturers will pay more for the effort of making medicine than they can ever possibly recover. This steep penalty is intended to force drug manufacturers to abide by HHS’s price so patients have uninterrupted access to their medication.
But it seems like it would interrupt patients’ access to necessary medicine if the government bankrupts the people who make their drugs.
The rest of the world is dependent on the United States — as with so many other things — for new medicine. This is the only country on the planet creating new medicine, as 70% of global biotech IP is owned and developed in the U.S. Researchers have to do their work here because governments that exert absolute control over their people’s health care kill the market opportunity for future drug development.
This isn’t just good for patients who need the life-saving medicine of the future, but it’s an economic boon to the research capitals of our country, places like Boston and Speaker Pelosi’s own San Francisco that have benefited endlessly from American capitalism but vote overwhelmingly to do destroy it (because they want to be cool moms).
Although free enterprise is the hero that’s unleashing every medical advancement of the last 100 years — with appropriate, limited guardrails from the government of course — there are an increasing number of people who treat free enterprise like the villain. The zeal for absolute government control has turned into mindless frenzy.
What the health care system needs is more free-market forces, not less. More competition means more choices, lower prices and more impetus for better service. Innovation and liberty tend to work better than government authoritarianism, which is why so many people flee socialist countries in favor of capitalist ones.
Instead of fixing the problem of high prices in health care, HR 3 would further disrupt our already muddled marketplace, hurt the people the Democrats claim to want to help and make bloated, dysfunctional programs like the Affordable Care Act even more unsustainable than they already were.
Pelosi desperately wants to be the cool mom, but HR 3 is the legislative equivalent of giving teenagers beer instead of making them eat their vegetables. It might be nice in the short term, but it’s disastrous in the long term.
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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