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Pelosi’s Plan: More Taxes, Less Cures

Excerpt from the Council of Economic Advisers:

[Pelosi’s plan aims to] lower prices for select drugs by effectively forcing drug manufacturers to accept prices set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services—or otherwise face an excise tax of up to 95 percent of sales. This tax would not be deductible for income tax calculations, so drug manufacturers could lose money from selling the drug. Consequently, manufacturers would either have to accept the Secretary’s price for a given drug or decline to sell it in the United States.

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimates that H.R. 3 could lead to as many as 100 fewer drugs entering the United States market over the next decade, or about one-third of the total number of drugs expected to enter the market during that time. CEA also estimates that by limiting access to lifesaving drugs, H.R. 3 would reduce Americans’ average life expectancy by about four months—nearly one-quarter of the projected gains in life expectancy over the next decade.

Furthermore, the economic value of this loss of new, better drugs, and the resulting  worse health outcomes, could reach $1 trillion per year over the next decade.

Heavy-handed government intervention may reduce drug prices in the short term, but these savings are not worth the long-term cost of American patients losing access to new lifesaving treatments.


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