First elected in 2018, Congressman Lance Gooden represents Texas’ 5th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 5th District stretches from Dallas County to Cherokee, Henderson, Kaufman, Anderson, Van Zandt and Wood Counties.
The cost of prescription drugs has increased dramatically over the past decade. Americans have carried the burden of this issue for some time. NOW is the time to solve the problem. A massive government overhaul such as Medicare-for-All would reduce innovation of new, potentially life-saving drugs. Radical proposals to socialize medicine will make healthcare more expensive and pass those costs along to the taxpayers at a time when they simply can’t afford it. President Trump and Secretary Alex Azar have prioritized reforms to make medicines more affordable for families across America. I’m proud to work with them to implement these solutions.
The drug pricing system we have makes it difficult to pinpoint the real price for most medicines. This lack of transparency creates incentives for pharmaceutical manufacturers to raise prices for the consumer. Additionally, countries with socialized medicine often set price ceilings on American-made pharmaceutical drugs. If all countries were to do this, pharmaceutical companies would collapse. Not only would we be left without innovative new drugs, we could be left without basic over-the-counter medicines. When socialist countries strong-arm companies this way, the burden falls on American consumers and our healthcare system becomes weaker.
The prescription drug pricing system is defined more by opaque agreements between corporate interests and market intermediaries than by consumer decisions. Unfair price setting by pharmaceutical manufacturers and industry middle-men, or Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers (PBM’s), lead to inflated drug prices before reaching the customer. Free-market solutions to reduce costs and improve outcomes are the answer to improving our healthcare system. Congress and federal regulators can mandate increased transparency which will increase the consumer’s decision making power, resulting in decreased prices as more affordable options are chosen.
Secondly, the United States must negotiate better trade deals with countries that have a socialized healthcare system. The United States’ system is one of few that incentivize pharmaceutical drug innovation and creation. In 2016 President Trump promised to fix the many flawed agreements the U.S. has made over the last few decades. If countries with socialized healthcare systems would invest more money into pharmaceutical research and development, the burden on American patients could be significantly reduced.
I stand behind President Trump and his rule proposal to increase transparency and help alleviate the burdensome costs of life-saving drugs. With his leadership and a focus on empowering innovative medical research and transparent pricing structures, Americans will quickly see their medications become more affordable.