Policy Proposals

On this page, you’ll find our analysis on key state and federal pharmaceutical policy proposals, with a focus on providing the expected economic impact from these proposals.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration mandated that employees at businesses with more than 100 workers be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing starting at the beginning of next year. Just two days later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit halted the order in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of businesses and state attorneys general. The court upheld the pause Friday after an appeal from the Biden administration. Trade groups representing retail, trucking, and independent...

Inflation is worrying Americans, and for good reason. The latest inflation report, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released on November 10th, showed that prices were 6.2 percent higher in October 2021 compared to October 2020. More troubling, this was the fifth month in a row where the annual growth in CPI inflation exceeded five percent. Digging deeper into the CPI data provides important perspective on another pressing issue – the growth in drug prices. While fluid, the so-called Build Back Better...

Just a few days ago, it appeared that Democrats had given up on including prescription drug pricing reforms in their massive spending bill. But not anymore. In an eleventh-hour turn of events, congressional Democrats this week resurrected their long-standing desire to levy government price controls on prescription drugs. If lawmakers successfully deploy their latest price-control gambit, then patients today and in the future will miss out on state-of-the-art treatments that will never be invented. According to early reports, the new drug-pricing proposal would do away with Medicare Part...

Allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices is a politically winning talking point. According to polling, Americans from across the political spectrum support this government intervention. However, the talking point is only a political winner if it is presented without context. Americans back the policy if it leads to direct savings in their pocketbooks while not diminishing access to life-saving therapies — whether through less investment in research and development by the pharmaceutical industry or restricted access to approved treatments. That this...

Last week, President Joe Biden unveiled a new social spending framework that omitted many of the healthcare provisions Democrats have been calling for. One provision that has survived is a massive and wasteful expansion of Obamacare . In March, Congress made federal tax credits available to those shopping for coverage on the exchanges with incomes above 400% of the federal poverty level — about $106,000 for a family of four. Those tax credits cap what they’d have to spend on a benchmark health plan at 8.5% of...

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., declared that expanding Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing benefits as part of the massive $3.5 trillion spending bill winding its way through Congress was "not negotiable." His hardline position is unsurprising. After all, he is the country's most high-profile proponent of a complete government takeover of health insurance. Assigning the federal government responsibility for seniors' dental, vision, and hearing care would seem to represent one more step toward Medicare for All. But it's odd for a self-styled...

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, indicated that one provision of Congress's massive spending bill was "not negotiable." Namely, expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental, and vision benefits. It's an odd place to draw the line. Many seniors already have those benefits, so the proposal is largely unnecessary. And despite the plan's exorbitant costs, the expansion would still fail to deliver much of the care it promises. Nearly half of the Medicare population, more than 26 million seniors , is...

Today, the Pacific Research Institute published an issue brief revealing overwhelming public disapproval for Medicare reforms that Congress is considering as part of its $3.5 trillion spending bill. Click here to read the full issue brief, "Drug Pricing Proposals Threaten America's Most Vulnerable Patients." "It's a relief that Americans oppose Congress's drug pricing proposals once voters learn the true consequences of these misguided reforms," said Sally C. Pipes, the brief's co-author and PRI president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health...

Democrats are dead-set on having the federal government pick up more of the nation's health tab. This is the principle behind everything from the drive to lower Medicare's eligibility age, to the push for billions of dollars for home care, to bigger subsidies for coverage through Obamacare's exchanges, to the dream on the far left of Medicare for All. People have a "right" to health care, progressives argue. So, in their mind, it should be free -- or at least heavily subsidized. But, health care...

Senator Bernie Sanders (I.,Vt.), America’s most prominent proponent of government-run health care, is once again leading the charge to move our country to a single-payer system. As chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders is pushing a $3.5 trillion budget plan that includes expansions of Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. Some moderate Democrats have balked at the cost. But Sanders predicted Sunday that Democrats would “come together” to pass the massive package via reconciliation later this year. The health-care reforms in the budget would...

By Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. and John Cohrssen This year marks the 35th anniversary of the US Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (https:// usbiotechnologyregulation.mrp.usda.gov/ biotechnologygov/about/about), a blueprint for federal agencies’ oversight of genetic engineering that was prepared by the White House and published by its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Click here to read the full article....

For weeks, congressional Democrats have been pushing to lower Medicare's eligibility age from 65 to 60 as part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill. A new paper from the American Action Forum (AAF) by Christopher Holt and Stephen Parente reveals just how radical that change would be. Such an expansion of Medicare would cost taxpayers a minimum of $380 billion over the next decade — and possibly more than $1 trillion. The belief that Medicare ought to be available to all Americans 60 and over has become...

It's no secret that H.R. 3 -- the Democrats' plan to impose price controls on prescription drugs -- would have devastating consequences for our healthcare sector. After all, artificially restricting the price of any product invariably leads to shortages, rationing, and a slowdown in both investment and innovation. A new study from University of Chicago economist Tomas Philipson shows H.R. 3 would not just slow down drug development but essentially stop it altogether. Yet Democrat leaders are continuing their push to include H.R....

By Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. and John J. Cohrssen President Joe Biden’s recent Executive Order 14036 contains initiatives intended to lower drug prices for patients, create more competition to increase wages for workers, promote innovation, and foster economic growth. As part of it, on Sept. 9 Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra proposed additional legislative and administrative actions. The drug price-reduction legislative proposals are perennials; their inclusion reflects both their popularity and the difficulty in attaining them. Two executive order proposals – one to import cheaper...

The Biden administration's "Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices," released last week, paints a vivid picture of the difficulties patients face affording their medicines. "Americans pay too much for prescription drugs," the report notes. "Many Americans do not take medications as prescribed because of their cost." How does the administration intend to ease their financial burden? By calling on Congress to give the federal government the ability to essentially dictate drug prices. Lowering drug prices by fiat may be popular. But it would represent...

As part of their $3.5 trillion budget plan, Democrats hope to expand Medicare to include, among other additions, coverage for dental benefits by 2028. It's a dream progressives have been pursuing for years. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called for the changes in his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaign platforms. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said she's "all for" expansion. But adding dental coverage to traditional Medicare is imprudent and unnecessary. In the long run, it could even reduce seniors' ability to access quality dental care—if...

By Peter J. Pitts, Robert Popovian, and Wayne Winegarden What happens when regulatory ambiguity displaces sound scientific guidance, deterring the legislative intent of Congress? This is precisely the situation regarding the FDA changing the regulatory rules of the road regarding a biosimilar’s strength versus its potency. It is a distinction with a difference – with the potential unintended consequence of disincentivizing both the development and uptake of biosimilars. It is also important to consider the implications of the legislative intent of...

It’s time for your annual physical. You make an appointment with your doctor and mark the date on your calendar. But when the day arrives, you don’t set aside two to three hours or wait for a nurse to call your name in a sterile doctor’s office. You log onto your laptop from the comfort of your living room. The process takes less than 30 minutes. For many Americans, this was a reality amid the pandemic, when lots of care was delivered...

The myth about endangered, disappearing honeybees lives on — with potentially dire implications. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, just reintroduced “Save the Bees” legislation that would eliminate farmers’ most advanced and effective defenses against crop-destroying pests in the name of preventing imaginary bee declines and preserving food security, which the bill would actually undermine. According to Blumenauer’s press release, “The United States lost an estimated one-third of its honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2018.” This sounds scary, except the Department of...