December 8, 2021 |
With support faltering for the massive big-government blowout Congress is trying to jam through by Christmas, Senate leaders would be wise to take a more efficient, bi-partisan approach to solving problems and modernizing hide-bound government programs.
How about a new approach…Build Back Bipartisanship.
Take, for example, the drug pricing provisions in the Build Back Better bill that will take a wrecking ball to access to medicines for Americans, especially seniors. It would cripple an industry that saves and improves billions of lives and leads the world in pharmaceutical innovation. Why do this when there is bi-partisan agreement on real solutions?
In fact, there is broad agreement that it is time to modernize the Medicare Part D drug benefit, created in 2003, by protecting seniors with an out-of-pocket cap for prescription drug expenses and reforming liabilities that patients, plans, and manufacturers currently face.
Dr. Tomas Philipson, University of Chicago economist and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, finds the legislation that passed the House last month and which the Senate is considering will reduce revenues in the pharmaceutical industry by 12% through 2039, reducing research investments over that time by $663 billion.
What does that mean in terms of impact: This cut in R&D activity leads to 135 fewer new drugs, Dr. Philipson shows. “This drop in new drugs is predicted to generate a loss of 331.5 million life years in the U.S.”
The current approach is damaging and misleads seniors into thinking they will get the savings, Ed Haislmaier, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, writes in “Democrats’ Bill Shows How Not to Get Affordable, Innovative Prescription Drugs.” Haislmaier explains that the government would begin by fixing prices for a limited number of drugs that account for substantial spending in Medicare. He explains this is just a ploy to set up the infrastructure for limitless price fixing in the future.