Letter: Another path than Build Back Better bill

Published 12:11 am Sunday, December 26, 2021

President Biden called on Congress to push through government price controls on certain medications in Build Back Better.

While it might be well-intended, this action would have hurt consumer’s access to better health care treatments. As a COVID-19 survivor, I value the innovation from America’s pharmaceutical companies that led to a vaccination and am glad we are able to move past the pandemic. Why would we want to do anything that might damage our progress? It’s true, our health care system is not perfect but expanding Washington politicians’ role in our health care is not the right way to fix the system for patients.

Politicians promoting price controls policies as being all about “consumer savings” is not the full picture. While Medicare negotiation could lead to some savings on select medications over the counter, the savings the government stands to make on this burdensome policy would be diverted to fund other parts of the social spending agenda included in Build Back Better.

Worse, if Medicare negotiation is made law, then future pharmaceutical innovation could be slowed. As new COVID variants appear, more research and investments will be needed to get our nation’s economy back on track. Do we really want to slow that down?

American pharmaceutical companies can solve some of our world’s biggest problems. The last thing Americans need is the heavy hand of the government creating more red tape for companies working to solve the COVID crisis. The free market has produced a lot of progress in expanding treatment options for patients living with chronic conditions and illnesses. It would be foolish to see pharmaceutical innovation take a hit because of bureaucratic overreach.

As a COVID-19 survivor, I encourage politicians in Washington to pass legislation that addresses the main causes of health care costs like hospitalizations rather than pumping the brakes on innovation under the pretense of consumer savings.

— Ben Parker

Mt. Ulla