A recent article by Will Okay in the Missourian was quick to advocate for government price-fixing in health care while failing to cite the concerning facts over the detrimental impact this will have over innovation and the availability of new drugs. Citing studies from Hungary, Switzerland and Greece, the reporter infers government price-fixing would be a viable solution to lower health care costs.
The relevant study that the reporter fails to include, however, is Congressional Budget Office data focusing on health care in this country. The CBO points to government price-fixing as an obstacle to creating and bringing new drugs to market. This study estimates that government price-fixing could lead up to 100 fewer cures brought to market and made available for people with debilitating health issues like Alzheimer’s disease.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prescription drug bill, which the reporter cheerleads throughout his story, institutes this government price-fixing mandate but does not account for the costs associated with the loss of lifesaving drugs. It is the wrong prescription for the U.S., and in good conscience I cannot support it.
We do not need to sacrifice the creation of new drugs for lower drug costs. My support of HR 19, the “Lower Costs, More Cures Act,” is predicated on the need to lower costs while also encouraging the creation of new cures. The bill lowers out-of-pocket drug costs, protects access to new medicines and cures and works on price transparency in health care.
Although Speaker Pelosi’s price-fixing bill may sound workable on the surface, its impact would jeopardize new cures and send health care innovation backward. I do not believe we have to sacrifice lifesaving cures to lower health care costs. We can do better, and the bill I have co-sponsored moves us in a better direction.
Vicky Hartzler represents Missouri’s 4th Congressional District.