As we know, President Joe Biden’s health care agenda has always involved putting government in even more control of our personal health care choices and decisions. His latest plan is no exception and would creep this nation one step closer to his progressive goal of a single-payer government-run system.
I’m referring to his expensive proposed “American Families Plan.” The proposal is loaded up with taxpayer spending on childcare, pre-K, community college, paid leave, and much more. According to The Washington Post, it will basically be “paid for” by price-fixing of prescription drugs. As with so many government spending programs the “pay for,” or the proposed way to raise money to pay for a proposal, both falls short in revenues and will do more harm than good.
When government fixes the prices of any product, the incentives for the producers of those goods plummet, forcing them to dedicate fewer resources to research and development while also scrambling to find cost-cutting ways to make the production of the product somewhat profitable. And if they can’t make a profit, they will not make the product nor bother to invest in the research and development of bigger and better ones.
As vice president, Biden was, of course, deeply involved in the crafting of Obamacare (and, as you may recall, was quite pumped when it passed). This latest attack on private health care is essentially Obamacare 2.0—or Bidencare—because the proposal forwards the Obama administration’s goal of expanding government control over health care as much as possible, one piece at a time. The Biden proposal dedicates such a large chunk of the federal budget to new big social-spending programs that many compare it to FDR’s New Deal. Say what? Yes. The plan is expected to clock in at about $1 trillion in brand new spending and another $500 billion in spending through the tax code if made refundable. In other words, people who don’t pay anything in taxes will be entitled to tax refunds, making much of this spending shift over to the tax side of the ledger.
The American Action Forum (AAF) recently came out with a detailed analysis of the American Families Plan, contained in a bill called H.R. 3, describing the price-fixing component thusly: “H.R. 3 proposes to have the government leverage its purchasing power to negotiate better prices for prescription drugs and then apply those negotiated prices to the entire U.S. pharmaceutical market.” The AAF explains that the proposal “also uses the prescription drug prices in other countries to set a ceiling for the negotiated price,” while capping the price at “120 percent of the average international market (AIM) price, based on the average volume-weighted sales price of the drug in six foreign markets.” The average international market price would end up being a floor price for so-called “negotiation” between the government and pharmaceutical companies. The negotiating power of the federal government would be so great that there would not be much of a negotiation – merely the government fixing prices.
The problems with this idea, according to AAF, center around the fact that it would import foreign price controls that American policymakers have not crafted and the negotiations would be one-sided in favor of the preferences of government bureaucrats. The impact to consumers would be less access to treatments and prescription drugs because of artificially low prices and bureaucrats, rather than markets, ultimately setting them. Socialism in healthcare is a proven disaster. We know this. But alas…
This so-called American Families Plan will accelerate the progressive dream of a government-run system with price-fixing of drugs and government bureaucrats left to make Americans’ health care decisions for them. And putting American taxpayers on the hook for even more spending with less involvement in their own health care choices and decisions only serves to veer our nation further away from free markets on a continued glide path toward health care socialism. So let’s be sensible and take a pass on the Bidencare, shall we?