Bill to cap prescription costs would be counterproductive

It is redistribution.

Today Nevada Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller, announced that she has introduced a bill called Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018 that would cap out of pocket prescription drug expenses to $500 a month for families and $250 a month for individuals. The bill would affect all group health plans, including employer-sponsored plans, and individual market plans, including ObamaCare. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.


“I hear from constituents every week who are concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs, leaving them wondering how they will afford their medications,” a Rosen press release quotes her as saying. “This legislation will help rein in prices for many Nevadans by capping out-of-pocket prescription drug copay costs for anyone on the exchange. I’m proud to introduce this bill in the House that will help us hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable and bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Nevada’s hardworking families.”

Except, if it works like every other Democratic proposal on this topic, it will do nothing to hold drug or insurance companies accountable, but saddle taxpayers with the cost.

In fact, Dan Gorenstein, writing at, says such plans take the pressure off pharmaceutical firms to cut prices.

A cap would limit what the seriously ill pay, but taxpayers would pick up the difference, Gorenstein writes, quoting Vanderbilt professor Stacie Dusetzina as saying capping out-of-pocket costs for patients can backfire, because those stories of patients who are forced to pay exorbitant drug prices to stay alive are politically powerful.

“When you think about those stories that puts the drug pricing issue in the face of policymakers, if you cap out-of-pocket spending many of those stories disappear,” Dusetzina is quoted as saying, adding that the better route is make insurers pay more so they will negotiate more toughly with drug companies.

Bills like Rosen’s just shift the cost to the taxpayers and actually provide a disincentive to bringing down costs of prescriptions.



17 comments on “Bill to cap prescription costs would be counterproductive

  1. Anonymous says:

    So is giving kids an allowance, or buying them food, or clothes.

  2. No, that is responsibility.

  3. Steve says:

    Premium subsidies lower costs for ACA “customers” this is true. What is NOT true is premiums for ACA “customers” have gone up….way up. And taxpayers aren’t footing the bill, the country is just adding to its debt load to pay the insurance companies their ever inflating ACA premiums.
    Government cheese increases the price of cheese. The cheese is never “free”

    And taxpaying citizens are not “kids” being handed an “allowance” by their own government. Taxpaying citizens are free people earning a living through work and paying for government with part of their hard earned income. That “analogy” is a total insult, the poster needs to re-evaluate their outlook on life and living in this country. Indeed, the world.

    I sense a leach in the fold.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Am I my brothers keeper” seems to me a pretty statement from God is that we are responsible for each other.

    In the identical moral sense that a parent is responsible for their children.

    Redistribution of wealth is not a bad thing in fact is not only a good thing, it’s a moral thing.

  5. Not when it is forced and there are better alternatives.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Force is an interesting concept. What “force” does the verse imply?

  7. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is what Cain asked after killing Abel, not a commandment.

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    That’s a commandment.

  8. Steve says:

    I think every religion has some for of that commandment.

    Charity is supposed to be from the heart not at the point of a lance.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thomas are we responsible to provide for our own children because of the force of the law or the force of morality?

    And do you believe, as Murray Rothbard does, and other libertarians do, that parents cannot have any responsibility for their children because they cannot be forced by either the law or any “morality” to do so?

  10. Steve says:

    inhuman bastard

  11. Rothbard: “Again, whether or not a parent has a moral rather than a legally enforceable obligation to keep his child alive is a completely separate question.”

  12. Anonymous says:

    Which doesn’t address the question of whether there is a moral obligation or not. And reading further into Rothbard’s comments in that Mises piece, its clear that he does not believe there is such an obligation because he says parents may even sell their children (even into slavery since they again have no moral obligation to the children)

    But, this doesn’t answer my question that I posed to you Thomas which was whether you see the obligation or “responsibility” to care for your children as a moral or a legal one.

  13. Moral.

    But abuse or failure to nurture is grounds for state intervention and taking of the child.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Would you say the “force” associated with morality is stronger or weaker than that associated with law?

    For you.

  15. The “law” is always a stronger force. That’s why it should be limited.

  16. Anonymous says:

    In what way is the law stronger?

    To a Christian, wouldn’t the consequences imposed by God, for violating some moral rule be far more “forceful” in guiding their behavior than one imposed by the law? Particularly where the law and their morality are in conflict?

  17. Rincon says:

    As long as we’re talking Christianity, perhaps a reminder for those Conservative Bible thumpers who harp on the sinfulness of homosexuality, but somehow miss all those passages about helping the poor. It seems that the Good Book missed the part about cracking the whip harder to motivate those slothful poor folk. It all seems to be about giving to and sharing with them. Are there Bibles translated by liberals? Or are many conservatives Cafeteria Christians?

    A few examples:

    Matthew 25:35-40 For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me;
    I was in prison and you visited Me. “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You? “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.

    2. Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. That is why I command you to be ready to help your brother or sister. Give to the poor in your land who need help.

    3. Deuteronomy 15:7-8 When you are living in the land the Lord your God is giving you, there might be some poor people living among you. You must not be selfish. You must not refuse to give help to them. You must be willing to share with them. You must lend them whatever they need.

    4. Proverbs 19:17 Giving help to the poor is like loaning money to the Lord. He will pay you back for your kindness.

    5. Proverbs 22:9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

    6. Isaiah 58:7-10 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to ignore your own flesh and blood? Then your light will appear like the dawn, and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard. At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer; when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you get rid of the yoke among you, the finger-pointing and malicious speaking, and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.

    Etc., etc.

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