20 ALEC Lawmakers Say NO to Importing Price Controls and Socialized Medicine to America

December 20, 2019 1:55 pm

For months, some in Congress have tried to advance socialist healthcare policies that have failed overseas and would leave Americans with fewer treatment options. In doing so, they are rejecting free-market principles that have led to lifesaving and life-enhancing medical discoveries. With passage of H.R. 3 in the U.S. House of Representatives, these lawmakers have led us one step closer to a command-and-control, single-payer healthcare system that imposes European-style price controls on America’s medical innovations and cures.

Progressives are not alone in pursuing the destructive path of artificially lowering drug prices through heavy-handed government intervention. Disappointingly, some conservatives are riding the coattails of this socialist fervor and using it to launch their own price control schemes, rather than recognizing H.R. 3 as a signal to offer free-market solutions to the genuine challenge of rising healthcare costs.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has convinced the Administration to set domestic drug prices under Medicare Part B based on their costs in other countries through a proposed “international pricing index.” This watered-down version of the House’s healthcare takeover is just as dangerous to patients.

The U.S. Senate is following suit. One such proposal, S. 2543, The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, is being championed by Senate Republicans as a moderate, bipartisan alternative to H.R. 3. Originating in the Senate Finance Committee, this bill proposes to lower drug costs through price controls and market distortion. This proposal is far from moderate.

These provisions will create more distortion in the marketplace, leading to higher costs. This will stifle medical discoveries and lead to fewer choices for patients. If adopted as law, international reference pricing, subsidy capping, imposition of inflationary penalties and extortionary excise taxes will deal a crushing blow to the robust climate of American medical innovation that has generated numerous treatments for once incurable conditions.

Congress must consider the long-term health costs of these policies. With limited access to lifesaving drugs, the life expectancy of American patients will be reduced. The harmful effects of heavy-handed government intervention felt by citizens in countries with price control regimes should serve as a cautionary tale.

Whether these policies come from unelected HHS bureaucrats or a Congress willing to embrace socialist principles when politically expedient, conservatives must reject every effort to undermine our free-market healthcare system. Protecting America’s healthcare system protects American patients.

Twenty ALEC lawmakers from across the country have signed the attached letter, condemning the International Pricing Index and urging you to safeguard America’s healthcare system. Please join them in opposing misguided attempts to inject socialist principles into it.

Read and Sign the Letter

The twenty legislators who signed the letter are:

Sen. J. Stuart Adams (UT)

Rep. Kay Christofferson (UT)

Rep. Alan Clemmons (SC)

Sen. Julie Daniels (OK)

Sen. Ed Emery (MO)

Rep. Seth Grove (PA)

Rep. Justin Hill (MO)

Sen. Dan Laursen (WY)

Sen. Vince Leach (AZ)

Rep. Rick Miller (TX)

Rep. Lewis Moore (OK)

Rep. John Nygren (WI)

Rep. Bill Rhiley (KS)

Sen. Rex Rice (SC)

Sen. Patricia Rucker (WV)

Rep. Garry Smith (SC)

Rep. Bill Taylor (SC)

Rep. Bob Thorpe (AZ)

Speaker Linda Upmeyer (IA)

Rep. John Wills (IA)