HHS Secretary Azar and Sen. Bernie Sanders Lead "Race to the Bottom"

By 
Patrick Rosenstiel

“A race to the bottom” that nobody wins. That might be the best way to describe a hastily drawn, Bernie Sanders-inspired “International Price Index” scheme by Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to base U.S. Medicare Part B drug prices on prices paid in a handful of countries with socialized medicine, where government bureaucrats undervalue and tightly ration access to lifesaving drugs developed here in America. It’s a ridiculous, dangerous idea that flies in the face of the President’s promise to unleash free market forces into the health care industry, and put a stop to decades of exploitation of U.S. intellectual property by foreign governments. Bottom line – hating Obama Care is just a warmup for how you’re going to feel about the “International Price Index.”

Here’s what the Azar-Sanders “Race to the Bottom” looks like in six quick steps: (1) Foreign government “Price Index” drastically undervalues drugs developed in the U.S.at an average cost of more than $1 billion each over 10-15 years; (2) As domestic prices fall, U.S. biopharmaceutical companies are forced to curtail expensive groundbreaking new research on lifesaving drugs and tighten supplies of existing drugs; (3) Seniors on Medicare Part B must now wait for the increasingly scarce drugs and therapies they need; (4) Millions of Medicare patients get sicker while they wait, and more expensive to treat. Medicare finances become all the more precarious; (5) Rural hospitals and clinics are forced to cut back hours or close altogether as Medicare Part B drugs become more scarce, Medicare patients become more expensive to treat, and Medicare payments are delayed due to the growing financial crisis. (6) We reach the bottom as R&D hits the wall. America and the world lose out on entire generations of new drugs to treat and potentially cure cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease and hundreds of other dread diseases. 

Please register your opposition to the current plan by writing Secretary Azar now.