The erroneously titled ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (IRA) contained a winding provision that would tax seniors on prescription drugs. The IRA does all this in the name of ‘senior discounts’ – double talk about healthcare. The Biden administration has introduced a policy that sounds good but actually hurts seniors. Remember President Obama’s false promise ‘if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan’? Well, here we go again.
Instead of strengthening Medicare or making it easier for seniors to buy drugs, the IRA is holding seniors hostage – threatening higher prices – as a way to bully pharmaceutical companies into complying with the price-fixing regime disadvantage – a regime will also have a long period of time. – Long-term negative impact on science and innovation. The IRA threatens seniors with higher drug costs today as it threatens new cures for tomorrow. This is one of the worst laws ever passed by Congress. Government regulation of drug prices will only disrupt the lives and health of American patients – especially seniors on Medicare.
If a pharmaceutical company does not agree to the government’s price setting – required by Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will impose a fake price increase create – a tax on the elderly and sick – to punish those who make medicine. A policy that makes no health sense – how is increasing drug costs a way to reduce drug prices? Price controls poison medical progress and threaten access to affordable health care.
This ‘Biden Drug Tax’ Aims to Raise Revenue – While Threatening Medicare – for Seniors. Healthcare policy can be divisive, but when it comes to drug innovation, preserving Medicare, and delivering high-quality healthcare, there is no real partisan disagreement . Unfortunately, the IRA was a leap in the wrong direction; President Biden puts politics above patients. Now is the time for seniors, patient advocacy groups, and the entire health care community to roll back (at least) the most damaging elements of the IRA, such as taxing the drugs people buy. Elderly people need it. Perhaps the Biden administration will come to its senses and reconsider its price-fixing plan?
The IRA promises to ease the cost burden on seniors. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) described it this way: Medicare will be able to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers to lower the prices of some of the most expensive brand-name Medicare Part B and Part D drugs. This means people with Medicare will have more access to cutting-edge, life-saving treatments, and costs for both them and Medicare will be lower. However, the government does not negotiate, the government authorizes. In fact, the word “negotiate” is dishonest because one side demanding and the other side giving in is not negotiation but intimidation. If pharmaceutical companies say ‘no’, the government will demand higher prices.
A company refuses the ‘negotiated price’… what happens? According to the IRS proposed regulations, the ‘Biden Drug Tax’ increases from 65% to 90% over a period of 271 days.
What if the company complies with government pricing regulations? Innovation, investment in new treatments and patient access to care are all at risk. The IRA will make investing science and resources in research, treatment, and new cures more expensive (and riskier). Patients with Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and other devastating diseases will suffer from the IRA’s ill-considered, unscientific policies. Research money will disappear or go elsewhere, leaving patients to suffer.
The Disinflation Act is bad medicine.
Jerry Rogers is the editor of RealClearPolicy and RealClearHealth. He is the host of the ‘Jerry Rogers Show’ on WBAL NewsRadio and Federal Newswire’s ‘Business of America’ podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JerryRogersShow.
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