— Rep. Erik Paulsen (@RepErikPaulsen) March 23, 2016
Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) is pushing his H.R. 4469 Health Savings Account Act of 2016 … a proposal that is just the latest regurgitation of his legislative proposals he has been pushing since 2011 (see H.R. 2010 in the 112th Congress and H.R. 2194 in the 113th Congress).
Ya gotta ask if this is such great legislation why hasn’t the House acted on it … and why wait until February of this year to re-introduce it ?
Yep, its election season … and Erik Paulsen (and the ruling Republican Party) is feeling the need to show ideas to reduce consumer’s healthcare costs … except
Yeah, except … their votes show that Republicans are more concerned with protecting the pharmaceutical industry.
When the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed healthcare concerns of Americans, the number one issue was soaring, unaffordable prescription drugs.
But that apparently is not a concern for Erik Paulsen and House Republicans.
It’s a simple question …
should Congress protect consumers from price-gouging …
or accept price-gouging if the consumer can purchase their prescriptions via a tax-sheltered health savings account ?
You may have missed it but last week House Republicans unanimously defeated an effort to protect Seniors from rising pharmaceutical prices and yesterday they went even further … as Republicans voted 230-2 to reject legislation to prohibit mergers and acquisitions that would increase the costs of pharmaceutical drugs.
The severity of the problem of rising prescription prices is illustrated in AARP’s RxPrice Watch report which found that the average retail price among 622 prescription medicines that are widely used by seniors more than doubled from less than $6,000 in 2006 to over $11,000 in 2013.
That is an incredible increase.
But it gets worse … a recent Bloomberg Business survey of about 3,000 brand-name prescription drugs found that prices had more than doubled for 60 medications since December 2014 and at least quadrupled for 20. It found that prices for many other drugs continued to rise at 10 percent or more annually, particularly as competition waned or patents neared expiration.
It is not just seniors who are impacted, but working families by the fact that prescription drug prices are rising much faster than the cost of living and other health care.
Sad to say … but Corporate Representative Paulsen’s vote is just another reminder that he is not the “people’s first” Congressman that Jim Ramstad was … after all Representative of the People Jim Ramstad voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Negotiation Act.
Consumers would be better protected with a Representative who was focused on rising pharmaceutical prices rather than trying to tweek the tax code so that pharmaceuticals can be purchased through HSAs and FSAs.