Letter to the editor: Resolution would restrict patient access to developing medications and treatments
This week, Congress is expected to vote on H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019. This legislation threatens to restrict patient access to developing medications and treatments under the guise of lowering health care costs. It is extremely worrisome.
My greatest concern is the rising cost of health care that would inevitably result if H.R. 3 became law. This is counterintuitive since the bill is ostensibly aimed at lowering costs. But as someone who purchases his insurance plan on the open market, I am highly sensitive to price fluctuations.
I am fortunate to not be faced with complex health conditions at the moment. However, I still take daily medication for blood pressure and persistently need medication to treat gout. Should this bill pass next week, my access to affordable and critical medications will be significantly limited, and I worry about how I will find my medication next year.
The goal of H.R. 3 is to lower health costs at first, but these temporary low costs will come at a price. Research and development of life-saving medications and treatments could be chilled if the government determines which diseases to invest in. Lower costs come at the expense of innovations for the next generation of treatments.
The plan does not lower health care costs in a pragmatic way. Instead, it limits patient access to medication by discouraging new developments and creates longer waiting periods for existing treatments and cures. I hope our elected officials will vote no on H.R. 3 and address the cost of health care with practical, effective solutions.
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