Transforming American health care
Plus: Avik and Gregg's take on Democrats’ prescription drug bill; and a chance to preview—and vote on—our SXSW panel
The Fair Care Act of 2022 would bring the U.S. comprehensive health care reform: Earlier this week, President Biden signed into law legislation containing provisions aimed at lowering prescription drug costs. Though the measure has received a lot of attention (including from FREOPP scholars, as you can read below), just weeks earlier Rep. Bruce Westerman (R., Ark.) introduced the Fair Care Act of 2022, legislation designed to go beyond prescription drugs and tackle high prices and lack of access to care throughout the health care system. The bill is the product of a collaboration between Congressional health reformers and FREOPP researchers, and is built upon FREOPP’s four core reform principles: affordability for every generation, personalized insurance, fairness to taxpayers, and keeping care innovative and competitive for patients. It is also the nation’s flagship free-market health care reform bill. Originally introduced in 2020 by a group of lawmakers, including champions Westerman and Rep. Jim Banks (R. Ind.), the bill is revised each year to include new ideas, refine existing provisions, and remove pieces that have already been made into law. Anyone who wants to ensure that more Americans get high-quality, affordable health care should cheer the bill’s reintroduction.
What’s next? When the new Congress begins work in 2023, Rep. Westerman and his allies will advocate for the Fair Care Act and, as Westerman put it, “real and lasting health care reform” through “free market solutions that protect the most vulnerable among us.”
→ Watch FREOPP President Avik Roy, Rep. Westerman, and others discuss the Fair Care Act at an AEI event in 2020.
Avik also talked through some of FREOPP scholars’ key reform proposals, while providing a useful summary of the U.S. health care debate, on the “A Second Opinion” podcast with Senator Bill Frist.
Drug companies are warning that pricing reform spells doom. Don’t fall for it. So what about that prescription drug bill? As Avik and FREOPP Resident Fellow Gregg Girvan wrote in The Washington Post last week, any effort to rein in prescription drug prices raises cries from pharmaceutical companies, whose lobbyists claim that reforms will kill innovation. But is that true? In the op-ed, Avik and Gregg preview forthcoming FREOPP research analyzing 17 companies that account for more than 60 percent of global pharma revenue and 56 percent of industry research and development spending. That $25 billion R&D investment produced only five drugs developed in the companies’ own labs. That means that Medicare has for years been rewarding large, low-innovation drug companies with billions of dollars. Despite its other problems, the Inflation Reduction Act’s correction of this distortion is a win for patients and for taxpayers.
(Avik and Gregg’s op-ed—which is well worth reading in its entirety—was reprinted in Connecticut’s Journal Inquirer, which has no paywall.)
Vote for FREOPP in SXSW: Every year, tens of thousands of people flock to Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest (SXSW) festivals and conferences. FREOPP would like to engage them with the ways a rising generation is developing new ideas that achieve progressive policy outcomes using competition, innovation, and entrepreneurship. But to do that, we need your help: Check out our proposed panel, A Bipartisan Approach to Equal Opportunity and cast your vote to get our panel on the SXSW schedule. The deadline to vote is Sunday, August 21.
Thanks for keeping up with FREOPP, and have a great weekend!
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