GOP physicians in Congress: Drug price control in reconciliation bill will impact patient care

·2 min read

A group of Republican physicians in Congress are voicing their “strong opposition” to the prescription drug pricing control policies that were included in Democrats’ massive reconciliation package that cleared the Senate over the weekend.

“We write to express our strong opposition to the government drug price control policies in your reconciliation package,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which was shared on Monday by Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.). “As medical providers and Members of Congress, we are deeply concerned with the harm these provisions will cause to patients across the country.”

The members of the GOP Doctors Caucus cited concerns from health care providers that the policies would result in limited access to care as well as a drastic drop in provider reimbursement.

The letter was written on Friday.

The legislative package that addressed tax, health care and climate change issues was passed by the Senate on Sunday along 50-50 party lines, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie. The Democratic-controlled House is expected to take it up later this week.

The $740 billion bill included $288 billion for prescription drug pricing reform. Throughout the weekend, the drug pricing legislation shrunk somewhat after the Senate parliamentarian struck down a provision that would have limited drug companies to increase their prices at only the rate of inflation.

While this provision was struck down, other key measures were allowed to stay, including allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on some drugs for the first time.

The GOP Doctors Caucus said the plan would result in patients who “could die waiting for new drugs and cures that will no longer be developed in their lifetimes. Government price controls have consequences.”

“We can and should work on a bipartisan basis to lower drug costs without sacrificing the cures and treatments that will provide for a healthier future,” they added.

The Republican lawmakers who signed the letter included Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Rand Paul (Ky.), as well as Reps. Andy Harris (Md.) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa).

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