Republicans Must Oppose “International Pricing Index”

Addressing the crisis of U.S. health care can sometimes result in drastic action. Finding a lasting solution can be difficult due to rising costs and the delays regularly found in Congress.

This past week, several drastic actions on health care and prescription drugs were taken by the federal government. Many of these topics have been on the mind of President Trump since he has taken office. One measure taken by the federal government however, is receiving heat from conservatives due to the fact that this provision goes against the entire free market of our health care system.

Backed by the federal health care bureaucracies, the “international pricing index” (IPI) – may seem like a vague term, but it is actually a socialized medicine provision that starts to implement measures found in foreign countries.

Instead of improving competition and transparency in a free market system, the IPI is based on a “most favored nation” (MFN) provision that is a price control measure. The prices of prescription drugs in an IPI are based on the prices of several foreign countries that have systems very different than the U.S. Such a policy would greatly change the way our health care system works.

As has been shown repeatedly in countries with socialized health care systems, governments cannot set the price of a good below its market value without incurring painful consequences. The side effects of price controls are many: increased wait times, drug shortages, & rationed care are all normal circumstances.

President Trump’s agenda is best served by the free market, and he is currently reconsidering one section of his executive order due to the IPI provision that was included alongside the health care agencies. Now, at least 17 conservative organizations are opposed to the IPI.

The ramifications of a seemingly small policy can cause a ripple effect throughout the entire system, if we are not careful. While action on health care is sorely needed, some actions are not worth the cost. We need President Trump and fellow Republicans to oppose this price control policy.

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