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BRADY BRIEFING: The Progressives’ War on Healthcare Innovation

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Washington, October 21, 2019 | comments
USA Daily Times 

The Brady Briefing is a regular feature of USA Daily Times.  

By U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)

300,000 Texans live with Alzheimer’s.

My neighbor is struggling with Parkinson’s.

Two of my friends died from ALS.

What do these people all have in common? They are living, or lived, with heartbreaking diseases that have no cure – yet. With recent medical innovation and groundbreaking research, there is hope that one day, cures can be found for diseases like these. However, that won’t be the case if Speaker Pelosi’s new drug pricing plan is ever made into law.

Most aptly called the “Fewer Cures Plan”, this government price-fix proposal would stop life-saving cures from getting to the patients who need them most. Instead of encouraging research and development, H.R. 3 would cut off medical research funding and penalize any company that explores new ways to find cures. While some Democrats say this is a fair trade-off for lowering prices, I say one cure lost is one too many.

What makes this plan even worse is that it would also result in the loss of over 700,000 jobs. While the healthcare industry in every state would be impacted, Texas is at a greater risk and would see higher job loss. The trade-offs in this bill are enormous – giving up cures and jobs in favor of government extortion.

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee have been dedicated to finding real, bipartisan solutions to lower drug prices for years. We’ve been working in good faith on legislation like the 21stCentury Cures Act, the SPIKE Act, and STAR Drug Act. All three of these bills would promote transparency in the pharmaceutical industry, accelerate key medical discoveries, and lower prices for families. But Speaker Pelosi threw out countless hours of bipartisan work when she introduced her secretive, one-sided bill.

A bill like this has no hope of passing the Senate or making it to the President’s desk, wasting time that could be spent improving the lives of the American people. Instead, I urge the Speaker to reconsider and come to the table. Let’s work together to lower prices for all Americans.

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I served in Congress during the Clinton Impeachment. Back then, we had a fair and open trial. Republican Chair Henry Hyde was absolutely committed to ensuring both parties had an equal part. Democrats, as well as President Clinton and his lawyers, had full access and complete due process.

This time around, it could not be more different. Democrats have created a secretive process in closed door sessions without Republican input, cherry-picking information and leaking it to the media to keep the American people confused and in the dark. When I – a sitting Member of Congress – requested to see hearing transcripts, I was denied. Chairman Adam Schiff is abusing his power and denying Republicans due process. With him in charge,we can no longer trust that the process will be fair and that information will be honestly shared.

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Congress mourns the loss of our friend and colleague Representative Elijah Cummings. We have lost a true public servant, and he will be greatly missed.

Kevin Brady is the ranking Republican of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. This column is a regular feature of USA Daily Times.

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