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AFP Launches Next Round of Ads Urging Lawmakers to Oppose H.R. 3

Jun 15, 2021 by AFP

Arlington, Va. – Americans for Prosperity today announced the launch of its next round of ads encouraging members of Congress to oppose H.R. 3. The bill would put the federal government in charge of prescription medications, a plan that would lead to drug rationing and stifle the development of new drugs in the future.

The digital ads, which are part of AFP’s campaign to defeat H.R. 3, target the following lawmakers: Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At Large), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), and Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04).

“A rationing scheme that puts the government in charge of Americans’ medicine cabinets is the wrong prescription that would only hurt those who need help,” said Dean Clancy, Senior Health Policy Fellow at Americans for Prosperity. “Lawmakers should stand firm against this deeply misguided legislation, and instead support a personal option that expands access to affordable medications without government price fixing.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE AD

Reps. Peters, Schrader, and Rice were part of a group of 10 Democratic lawmakers that recently urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon drug price fixing.

Background

A government takeover of pharmaceutical drugs is the wrong prescription.

In a 2019 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the legislation would cause the pharmaceutical industry to produce as many as 100 fewer products over the next decade. The U.S. would not only experience less access to drugs and fewer medical breakthroughs, but price controls would also reduce annual economic output by $375 billion to $1 trillion – around 10 to 30 times what the bill is projected to save.

Price controls have failed in other areas of the globe.

In the European Union, price controls have led to drug shortages. Meanwhile, while Americans enjoy access to 89 percent of new drugs, Canadians only have access to about half, because its government deems most new drugs “too expensive.” In fact, price controls made Canada heavily reliant on the U.S. for COVID-19 vaccines by driving drug companies out of the country for decades.

A personal option for prescription drugs is a far better way to reduce prices and boost access to drugs.

Instead of H.R. 3’s approach, lawmakers should give Americans a personal option that brings drug prices down and boosts access to prescription medicines by increasing competition, expanding choice, and promoting innovation. The personal option, a bottom-up alternative to a government takeover of health care, would reduce drug prices while boosting access through the following reforms:

  • Faster Drug Approvals. Reform the FDA’s drug approval process to reduce prescription drug costs. Grant automatic approval to any therapy approved as safe by advanced countries we trust.
  • More Generic Competition. Promote robust generic competition through sensible, bipartisan reforms that respect the just rights of inventors. For example, end “pay-for-delay” agreements, by which brand-name drug companies persuade would-be generic competitors to delay bringing their products to market, thus effectively extending their own effective monopoly. This and similar reforms can be found in House bill H.R. 19 and the Senate’s Wyden-Grassley drug reform proposal.
  • Tax-Free Savings for All. Let every American save and spend for prescription drugs, tax-free. Allow every Americans have a tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) and thus a generous discount on every out-of-pocket prescription-drug expense. For lower-income individuals, provide means-tested government contributions, so they too can benefit from this powerful tool. Codify the current federal rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), so employees can use pre-tax contributions from their employer to purchase personally owned, portable health insurance that includes good-quality prescription drug coverage that meets their individual needs.
  • Better Medicare Drug Coverage. Auto-enroll all new Medicare enrollees into a high-quality, low-premium Medicare Advantage plan that includes good drug coverage, while allowing them to opt into original Medicare if they wish. Protect those who opt into original Medicare from excessive drug costs by capping their total Part D out-of-pocket cost exposure and eliminating the infamous “donut hole” coverage gap.
  • Legal Drug Importation. Allow individuals and importers to bring legal prescription drugs into this country without hindrance.

Learn more

Why drug price controls are still a bad idea for lawmakers to consider

Inside the effort to stop drug rationing and give patients more access to affordable prescription drugs