Sen. Elizabeth Warren Offers More Dangerous Healthcare Ideas | Citizens Against Government Waste

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Offers More Dangerous Healthcare Ideas

The WasteWatcher

One would think after Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) dalliance with discussing her plan for Medicare for All that would be implemented in the third year of her presidency, cost $20.5 trillion in new federal spending while dubiously promising taxes would not be increased on the middle class, and then see a drop in her polling numbers, she would stay away from proposing more “great” healthcare ideas.  Apparently not. 

Sen. Warren, who has a plan to change practically every facet of our economy, continues to offer ideas based on her naïve belief that everything is free and there is no risk involved in medical research and development.

Her plan to dramatically lower the costs of all prescription drugs would force manufacturers to accept a government “negotiated” price or get hit with a 95 percent excise tax.  Essentially it is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) socialistic drug discount plan, H.R. 3, on steroids.  Unlike the Speaker’s plan that targets 250 drugs that could face government price controls, with a minimum of 50 being price-controlled, Warren’s plan would allow the government to use price controls on all drugs.

Pelosi’s plan would cap a pharmaceutical's price at 120 percent of the average price of the drug in six countries; Warren’s plan would cap prices at 110 percent of the average international price.  It bears repeating that the reason the U.S. leads the world in pharmaceutical development is we still maintain a large free-market for pharmaceuticals.  Our friends in Europe and around the world do not and their research and development have suffered for it.

A bill introduced this week by Sen. Warren, S. 3162, the Office of Drug Manufacturing Act, would use compulsory licensing, in other words, allowing the government to steal a biopharmaceutical manufacturer’s drug patent and then permit other companies, perhaps even the government, to manufacture the drug instead.  Drugs that have been determined to have risen too quickly in price or have too little competition would be targets.  Sen. Warren's plan would rapidly destroy America’s vibrant pharmaceutical industry.

In her plan to "help" people with disabilities, she plans to exploit the “march in rights” provision under the Bayh-Dole Act to make sure technology, which would include pharmaceuticals and other innovative medical products, are being sold at “reasonable” prices.  She said her plan to “break up big tech will also promote competition and stimulate innovation that can help bring more products to market that meet the needs of people with disabilities at lower costs.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Patent and Trademark Law Amendments of 1980, or the Bayh-Dole Act, was designed to solve a serious problem.  At that time, very few inventions or discoveries, estimated to be five percent, at universities or other non-profit entities, which had been funded by government grants, had been commercialized.  To solve this problem, the Bayh-Dole Act allowed the patents to be owned by the research entities and to be transferred to the private sector that would take the risk and expense to commercialize them.  “March-in rights” could only be used if the private sector collaborator had not commercialized the invention. Sen. Warren sees things differently.

If Senator Warren’s ideas should ever became law, our nation’s vibrant medical research and development would dry up quickly.  No one and no company would risk their funds to invest in medical research.  All Americans would be hurt but the most harmed would be the disabled.

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The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste