FreedomWorks was joined by 17 organizations in sending a letter to President Trump opposing any executive order that would tie prescription drug prices in the United States to those in foreign nations.

BY SARAH ANDERSON

Dear President Trump,

We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of taxpayers and consumers nationwide, oppose any executive order that would tie prescription drug prices in the United States to those in foreign nations.

There is no denying that the cost of healthcare in the United States is quite high and continues to rise at a rate that is unsustainable for many Americans. Addressing this crisis requires a sober analysis of all of the factors at play and a willingness to come together across the aisle to offer a lasting solution for the millions of families and caregivers in our great nation.

Unfortunately, the “international pricing index” (IPI) and its most recent variant that includes a “most favored nation” (MFN) provision are not the type of solutions our nation needs. In fact, they represent quite the opposite of what is needed.

Any form of price setting is a treatment of symptoms, not causes. Prices stem from the actions and demands of both individuals and groups. As has been shown repeatedly in countries with socialized health care systems, governments cannot expect to set the price of any good – let alone one as crucial as prescription drugs – below its market value without incurring painful consequences.

This is not hypothetical. The healthcare systems in the reference nations upon which the IPI would base its pricing have scores of inefficiencies. These nations routinely suffer from increased wait times, drug shortages, and rationing of care. We need our leaders to do whatever is in their power to prevent these outcomes from making their way to our shores, not to emulate the systems that have engendered them. We cannot implement the same models as other nations and believe we will remain immune to their deficiencies.

A study using data from the National Institutes of Health found that if all developed countries lifted all price controls on prescription drugs, the resulting increase in investment in pharmaceutical research and development would yield eight to thirteen new drugs per year through 2030.

This is pure logic. As we stated earlier, there are distinct economic consequences to holding a commodity below market value. One of those is to increase demand; another is to decrease supply. The resources and time required to develop a new drug and bring it to market are tremendous, and drugmakers must be able to eventually recoup those investments in order to stay in business to develop more cures. Sadly, price controls would leave many waiting in vain for cures that will never come.

With the MFN provision, the U.S. would, by definition, move itself to the back of the line and would be required to have the most stringent price controls globally. Pharmaceutical companies cannot afford to spend exorbitant sums to develop new drugs in a nation that has made itself the worst place on earth to try and recoup their investments.

Beyond the economic and human costs of such a proposal, there are a variety of legal issues with the IPI. First, it relies on an overly broad interpretation of what constitutes a “limited experiment” under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) statutory authority. Implementing this proposal across broad swaths of Medicare is hardly limited, and the ripple effects it would have will impact the entire healthcare industry in our nation.

The administration is trying to argue before the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and using programs established by the law to implement a sweeping change to healthcare as we know it. This proposal, if implemented, would undermine that worthy fight.

If we’ve learned anything over this tumultuous year, it’s that it is an absolute necessity for our healthcare system to be able to operate with maximum flexibility. Price setting through IPI, and price setting accelerated to its most extreme with MFN would stifle medical innovation at a time where we can least afford it as a nation.

As we look to setting America on a sustainable path towards more affordable healthcare for all our citizens, especially its most vulnerable, all of these considerations must be reviewed thoroughly. It is imperative that this be done right and not hastily, which is why we oppose any executive order that would tie prescription drug prices in the United States to those in foreign nations.

Sincerely,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

Brent Wm. Gardner, Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Pete Sepp, President, National Taxpayers Union

Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste

Daniel Schneider, Executive Director, American Conservative Union

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Jeff Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom

Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

Ryan Ellis, President, Center for a Free Economy

Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty

James Edwards, Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights

Seton Motley, President, Less Government

Matthew Kandrach, President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Heather R. Higgins, CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitmen

Defending the Indefensible

By Debi Vandenboom

I have spent the last fifteen plus years fighting for the cause of life. I have read books and articles from every side of the debate. I’ve watched interviews, documentaries, exposes and undercover investigations. I have spoken with, counseled, and come alongside girls who were pregnant and scared, young mothers trying to find their way, as well as women who deeply regretted their decision to abort. I have spent many hours sitting in legislative proceedings supporting pro-life legislation. And I have diligently prayed for hearts and minds to change.

In all of those years of experience, one of the things which never ceases to amaze me is the depths to which abortion advocates will go to defend the indefensible. They have developed a science out of using carefully crafted talking points, data manipulation and outright lies to defend “women’s health”, aka abortion. I have heard it so often that I can spot the spin within seconds of hearing or reading someone’s words. Abortion advocates fight for the “right” of a woman (or young girl at literally ANY child bearing age) to have access to abortion without notifying her parents if she’s a minor, without informed consent of the procedure or its risks, without meeting the doctor ahead of time, for any reason, at any stage of gestation, using the grisliest procedures, and preferably paid for with taxpayer dollars. If you dare to try to place even the tiniest, most reasonable restriction on abortion, then you clearly must be anti-woman and hate the poor. No exaggeration. I’ve heard it. I’ve seen it. It’s ugly.

But, it doesn’t end there. In order to defend the indefensible, abortion advocates must also take horrific stands on issues that don’t directly relate to women’s access to abortion. One of these is the issue of fetal homicide. This really came to light back in 2003 when Laci Peterson and her unborn son were murdered in California. There was much discussion about whether baby Conner had or had not been born prior to his demise. My question is, why should it matter? Laci Peterson was 8 months pregnant. Whether the baby died in utero, or post birth, he still died. And, his death was clearly, directly connected to his mother’s murder. However, pro-abortion groups like NARAL and NOW advocated to keep Scott Peterson from being charged with two murders. Despite the fact that pro-abortion organizations claim to support the choice of women who carry “wanted” babies, that support only goes so far. They could not risk having such a high profile case bring to light that an unborn baby is in fact alive and can in fact be murdered.

This happens in case after case. Tragically, murder is one of the top causes, sometimes listed as the number one cause, of death for pregnant women. According to WebMd, murder accounts for 20% of the deaths of pregnant women, as compared to 6% of the deaths of nonpregnant women. You might think that pro-abortion groups full of self-proclaimed feminists who supposedly champion women’s rights, would speak out against such atrocities. You would be wrong. If a baby in utero can legally be recognized as a fully alive human being capable of being murdered, it casts a giant shadow on the entire issue of abortion. Therefore, abortion groups are more interested in protecting abortion, and their own profit margin, than they are in actually protecting and advocating for women.

Another area where abortion advocates justify especially reprehensible acts concerns babies who “accidentally” survive an abortion attempt. It happens more often than you might think. When a child survives an abortion procedure at a clinic, he or she may simply be discarded in a bin or left to die on a metal table with no medical attention whatsoever. In Arizona, it has been the law since 1975 for babies who were born alive to receive care, and it has been federal law since the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” of 2002. Yet we continue to hear about babies being left to die with no care at all. For example, recently in Arizona, a baby girl was born alive after an unsuccessful abortion at 22 weeks, and was left to die alone on a steel table with no medical care or assistance. She suffered alone for nearly an hour and a half before finally passing. This is heartbreaking. It only takes a simple Google search to see that this is not an isolated incident. You can find stories across the country of babies surviving abortion.

One would think that signs of life such as a heartbeat, gasps of breath, or umbilical cord pulsation would be enough to cause someone with medical training to jump into action without being forced to do so. Unfortunately it is not. So, at the federal level, legislation was introduced this session which would strengthen protection for abortion survivors. In Arizona, Governor Ducey just signed SB1367 into law which further clarifies the state’s existing born alive law. During and after this bill’s passage, the pro-abortion nonsense abounded in the newspaper, on social media, and in legislative hearings. Among the most incredulous things I personally heard was that it was “inhumane” to provide “intrusive” medical care to a baby who would not survive anyway. Inhumane? As opposed to treating a living baby like discarded medical waste? A baby may be considered too young to survive at a certain gestational age, until one defeats the odds and does survive. I’ve personally met 2 young women who were so tiny and premature at birth that their parents were given no hope of survival. They are now 20 and 21 years old. Life has a tendency to defy all odds. And even if that baby truly cannot survive, she still deserves to be treated as a human being and at least given basic care, rather than being left untreated in a steel medical bin. But, here lies the problem for Planned Parenthood and other radical abortion advocates. Once an abortion has failed and you are dealing with a living breathing infant, then abortion should no longer be relevant. Born alive laws have absolutely nothing to do with abortion access. However, if a baby at 20 weeks, or 22 weeks, is a human being in need of medical care, then what is an in utero fetus at 20 weeks or 22 weeks? In almost every state, including Arizona, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks, and in some states even further. A living breathing abortion survivor throws a giant monkey wrench in to the “clump of cells” sales pitch. So again, in order to protect abortion and to protect their bottom line, abortion advocates will defend the truly indefensible. Abortion, at it’s most fundamental level is inexcusable and horrific. We have literally made an industry out of destroying life at its most vulnerable stages. So, abortion advocates must attempt to justify abortion at its most extreme levels, such as fighting fetal homicide rulings or born alive protections, in order to be able to justify it at all. If they don’t, the whole house of cards will come tumbling down around them. That is why it is important to shine a light on some of the most horrific aspects of the abortion argument. We can’t be squeamish. We must continue to shine light into this darkness, until the last card falls.