Skip to main content

Blog

“This is the Path Forward”


10.31.19

Republicans Offer, Democrats Reject, Serious Solutions to Lower Drug Costs


WASHINGTON, DC – “This amendment represents a drug pricing package that could become law. It is made up of bipartisan policies that both Republicans and Democrats in this very committee have voted on. This is the path forward.”

That’s what Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) said when he introduced an amendment during the rushed markup of Speaker Pelosi’s partisan drug pricing scheme.

But, as the Washington Examiner reported, “House Democrats rejected an amendment to pass bipartisan drug pricing legislation during a fraught markup… choosing instead to charge ahead on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan bill.”

That about sums it up. Democrats rejected Walden’s amendment that included:

In fact, take a look at any of the amendments offered by Republicans at the markup, and there are more questions than answers as to why Democrats rejected our solutions. Here are just a few:

  • Health Subcommittee Republican Leader Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced an amendment to ensure that all savings from price concessions for insulin be passed directly to consumers.
  • Burgess also offered an amendment that would protect potential cures and treatments for sickle cell disease from Pelosi’s fewer cures
  • Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced an amendment to protect potential cures and treatments for Alzheimer’s from Pelosi’s fewer cures formulary.
  • Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced an amendment to protect potential cures and treatments for rare diseases – known as orphan drugs – from Pelosi’s fewer cures formulary.
  • Communications and Technology Republican Leader Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced an amendment to require HHS to ensure that there would be no negative impact on treatments for mental illnesses or addiction from Pelosi’s fewer cures formulary before the law is implemented.

Democrats rejected each and every one of these bipartisan solutions.

In doing so, Democrats rejected a path forward to lower drug costs for patients through legislation that could actually become law. Democrats rejected important protections for the new cures CBO says we may lose because of the bad policy in Speaker Pelosi’s plan.

The obvious question: why?

“This is an exercise in partisan politics,” explained Walden at The Atlantic’s The State of Care: The Health Ecosystem event, “and the American people will suffer as a result.”

That’s what happens when you put politics over progress.


Subcommittees
Health (116th Congress)
Blog