March 18, 2019
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This article originally appeared in Morning Consult on March 18, 2019.
Thanks to cutting-edge investments in life-saving medicines, American companies continue to find cures for rare, devastating diseases. But America’s continued leadership in medical innovation depends on the federal government keeping sound, pro-innovation policies in place. Unfortunately, a growing group of lawmakers see drug pricing as arbitrary whims of greedy businessmen, rather than the price we pay for revolutionary research. Price-fixing proposals by members of Congressand bureaucrats would greatly restrict access to medications that Americans rely on every day and the potential for new, life-changing discoveries, creating unnecessary suffering from preventable diseases. Controls may bring prices down, but at an unacceptable cost.
March 7, 2019
Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) along with fifteen additional free-market organizations sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Azar in support of transformative healthcare opportunities on the horizon, including cell and gene therapies. » Read More
February 27, 2019
This article originally appeared in Catalyst on February 25, 2019.
When a patient finds themselves in the back of an ambulance, there’s little question of the final destination. While emergency rooms (ERs) are ideal for potentially-fatal ailments such as heart attacks and gunshot wounds, the over-reliance on ERs for more minor issues diverts key dollars and personnel away from where they are needed. According to an IBM Watson study, nearly a quarter of patients in the ER didn’t, in fact, require medical attention, and more than 40 percent required care that could have been carried out in a primary care setting. » Read More
February 5, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on January 31, 2019.
Anyone who has had a bacterial infection can attest to the misery of being bedridden and the frustration of taking medications that sometimes do not work. Why some drugs work and some don’t has been a mystery since the advent of modern medicine a century ago, but new advances in medical research show strong links between genetic variation and drug responses. » Read More
January 14, 2019
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This article originally appeared in the Catalyst on January 3, 2018.
The results are in, argues The Center for Public Integrity’s Wendell Potter: America’s healthcare system underperforms due to “the belief that the free market…can work as well in health care as it can in other sectors of the economy.” Don’t tell that to the more than 2 million Native Americans who receive their medical care through a federal service known as the Indian Health Service (IHS).
January 10, 2019
This article originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on January 7, 2019.
It's easy to pay without thinking twice. On trips to the supermarket, consumers can see the price of any product and decide whether or not to buy accordingly, forcing sellers to keep costs as low as possible. A consumer who wouldn’t think much of a $2 price tag for a dozen eggs wouldn’t buy the same product for $20. But if that same customer had someone else’s credit card, and no credit limit, then what does it matter if eggs are $2 or $20 a dozen? Sadly, that’s how markets work right now in the medical sector, where the government and third-party insurers are the primary payers and individuals have no incentive to shop around. » Read More
January 7, 2019
This article originally appeared on Inside Sources on January 6, 2019.
As president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, I don’t usually write about policy from a personal perspective (even though I am a taxpayer). Over the past two years, TPA has written extensively about the Food and Drug Administration and its unique position to approve harm reduction products that help people switch from traditional cigarettes to reduced-risk products, such as vaping and heat-not-burn products like IQOS. » Read More
October 25, 2018
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Congress has faced the same question about what can be done about high drug prices for decades. Recent policies, such as lowering regulatory barriers to drug approval, have already yielded results and begun to lower prices. Other ideas, such as expanding the use of tax-free savings accounts and reducing insurer mandates, hold additional promise for injecting market forces into the American healthcare system to bring down costs.
September 17, 2018
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Last week, the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) convened an expert discussion panel on the opioid crisis with Jessica Hulsey Nickel (the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Addiction Policy Forum), and Charmaine Yoest (Associate Director at the Office of National Drug Control Policy) in the Executive Office of the President. Both Nickel and Yoest shared poignant stories about the epidemic which has claimed more than 200,000 lives over the past 20 years. Both experts agreed that a comprehensive government approach is needed to ensure that the crisis of opioid addiction and abuse is addressed without limiting access to those with legitimate needs for medications. The conversation underscored the dire seriousness of the situation, but also provided real insight into how the private and non-profit sectors can and are working with government to help end the crisis and get those affected the care and support that they need.
August 21, 2018
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For more than a century, the United States has consistently led the world in technological development. From automobiles to iPhones, America has helped to create new industries and raise the standard of living worldwide. But game-changing developments in medicine, communication, and transportation wouldn’t be possible without assurances that inventors would benefit from their contributions. The driving force in promoting innovation is protecting intellectual property (IP) through thorough patent, copyright, and trademark enforcement.
August 7, 2018
On August 1, the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to the CEOs of nine contract pharmacies that participate in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The letters, which bring attention to the “diversion and duplicate discounts” and lack of oversight by covered entities, are a powerful reminder that the program is failing to live up to its promise. As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has previously discussed in blog pieces, letters, statements, and social media, the 340B Program has morphed into a paradigm for government waste and is in desperate need of reform. » Read More
July 27, 2018
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President Trump has made his campaign promise to lower the cost of healthcare and drug prices a high priority for his administration. His proposal and his policies have already yielded results. And, the implementation of many of his other ideas hold promise in injecting market forces into the American healthcare system to bring down costs. Not all administration proposals are created equally, though; one proposal in particular would prove counterproductive in bringing down prices despite hype by some “reform” advocates. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) has introduced an amendment into an appropriations bill that would force drug manufacturers to include the list price of a drug in any advertisement.
May 30, 2018
When paying for healthcare, American seniors often have a difficult time navigating through the benefit structures and limitations of Medicare. While Medicare Part D registers astronomical approval ratings from seniors, there is a large cost problem. Drugs accessible to seniors face rampant cost escalation, forcing individuals on a fixed income to make difficult choices in financing their medical needs. And, taxpayers pay the increased costs through public health plans. Attempted reforms to save seniors and taxpayers from unintended costs have proven futile and must be reversed to bring sanity back to the system. » Read More
May 23, 2018
President Trump’s focus on drug prices is already paying off. Almost immediately following the President’s speech on drug pricing, pharmaceutical manufacturer Amgen announced that their new treatment for migraines will cost 30 percent less than analysts anticipated. This is good news for patients and taxpayers who foot the bill for these medications via government healthcare plans. » Read More
May 10, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) criticized proposals by leading Congressional Democrats to create a drug price “enforcer” ahead of the President’s speech on the issue Friday. Party leaders such as House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) have sought to highlight rising pharmaceutical prices under the Trump Administration and propose heavy-handed alternatives to the status-quo. » Read More
May 3, 2018
When it comes to federal entitlement programs, Medicare Part D often wins ‘best-in-show,’ costing less than originally estimated while maintaining overwhelming satisfaction from participants. Now a new study from Avalere sheds light on how to help all Medicare programs mirror Part D’s success – to the benefit of federal taxpayers across the country. » Read More
March 27, 2018
American consumers and taxpayers are spending more on healthcare than they ever have been before. And, if nothing changes, costs will continue to eat into earnings and tax bills. Spending on healthcare is projected to increase by more than five percent every year until 2026, according to the federal government. Premiums and out-of-pocket spending will rise faster than inflation, wages, and economic growth. Rising premiums will inevitably cut into wages, as employers respond to increasing rates by garnishing paychecks. Taxpayers across the country will also pay dearly for the continued rise in costs, as 47 percent of all health care expenses will be borne by Uncle Sam by 2026. » Read More
March 14, 2018
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Taxpayers deserve accountability in the government programs they fund. Despite the good intentions of lawmakers creating “simple, effective” programs, government schemes often become befuddling boondoggles free of any oversight. In the realm of health-care policy, the 340B program is perhaps the best example of these noble intentions gone awry. Program goals to provide low-income patients with affordable medications have been compromised by burgeoning costs, mission creep, and little reporting by program participants. Fortunately, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced legislation that provides greater accountability in the rapidly expanding 340B drug discount program. Another encouraging sign of progress is that the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is holding a hearing this week on the drug discount program.
March 13, 2018
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If you feel like you’re spending more on your healthcare lately, that’s because you are. In fact, we all are, and spending on healthcare will increase by more than five percent every year until 2026. Premiums and out-of-pocket spending will rise faster than inflation, wages, and economic growth. Rising premiums will inevitably cut into wages, as employers respond to increasing rates by garnishing paychecks. Recent research shows that the toll on wages plays a significant role in income inequality.
February 7, 2018
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Today, TPA joined together with 22 free market groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) to send a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to stop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule against short-term “payday” loans. The rule also deprives citizens and lawmakers in every state from deciding for themselves how to regulate small dollar loans and fails to take into consideration the impact the rule will have on small businesses, the letter explains. Time is running out for Congress to disapprove the rule using the Congressional Review Act, with an estimated deadline of March 5. The letter asks Congress to vote now on House Joint Resolution 122, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and co-sponsored by Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Tom Graves (R-GA).