All posts by Jerry Rogers

COALITION Seeks to Reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

capitol

Washington, D.C. – A broad coalition of free-market and center-right organizations are respectfully requesting that Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate. 

The previous Administration’s corporatist policies ushered in an unprecedented age of hyper-lobbying that promoted partial and partisan interests—saving Wall Street bankers, a failed stimulus package, an auto bailout for union control, the Obamacare fiasco, green energy boondoggles. President Trump promised to grow the economy by doing away with Obama-era cronyism.

Reforming the badly broken RFS system and will show that the President is serious about putting America back to work.

Read the Coalition letter here: COALITION Seeks to Reform the federal Renewable Fuel Standard

Reform 340B Drug Pricing NOW

The 340B program continues to grow outside of its original purpose of helping the poor and uninsured — this is true, despite the promise that ObamaCare would vastly reduce the numbers of uninsured (and underinsured). Reforming the program will be a major defeat for Washington’s political class. Crony corporatists and their lobbyists have abused 340B to make themselves wealthier. Wealth creation is good, but not when a privileged few leverage government at the expense of patients and taxpayers.

We hear a lot about “draining the swamp,” but we don’t see a lot of action. With 340B reform, our elected officials have an opportunity to put patients over profits. Let’s hope they have the courage to do what’s right and necessary.

Read more about how the Trump Administration wants to reform 340B here: The Trump Administration is Right to Reform 340B.

CapAllies joins IPR Coalition Letter

COALITION: THE SEOUL HIGH COURT’S IMPENDING RULING ON EXTRATERRITORIALITY IN THE QUALCOMM MATTER WEAKENS TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

 Washington D.C. – Today, a broad coalition of free-market and center-right organizations released a statement regarding a pending decision of Korea’s Seoul High Court, Korea’s court of last resort. The decision will be whether to stay the Korea Fair Trade Commission’s (KFTC’s) overbroad ruling against Qualcomm, Inc., the aggrieved party in the proceeding.

Below is the statement released by the coalition:

“We are troubled by the prospect that the Seoul High Court might fail to stay the KFTC’s grossly overbroad extraterritorial remedies against Qualcomm. Such a ruling by the Court would explicitly condone the KFTC’s intrusion upon U.S. sovereignty, resulting in far-reaching implications harmful to free trade, the United States economy, and intellectual property as a whole.

Earlier this year, the KFTC took the extraordinary step of seeking to impose a one-size-fits-all approach to how patents around the world are licensed. This unprecedented remedy is a bald-faced attempt to slash the value of a U.S. company’s global patent portfolio and shield Korean domestic companies from American competition.

“The KFTC’s extraterritorial remedies go well beyond protecting Korean consumers and purport to dictate the terms upon which a U.S. company can license its intellectual property—even well outside Korea’s borders.  Such remedies result in a major transfer of patented technology from U.S. to Korean companies, severely undermining U.S. leadership in innovation and economic growth. This will adversely impact every company in the United States that holds a patent of any kind.

“As the U.S. embarks upon a review of its trade and investment relationship with Korea, we urge the Trump Administration to demand assurances from the highest levels of the Korean government that all U.S. companies will be protected from the KFTC’s extraterritorial overreach. Anything less is a direct attack on our economy, our intellectual property, and our sovereignty.”  (PDF here: SKorea KFTC Case Ltr Aug2017)

Sincerely,

American Conservative Union

American Conservative Union Foundation

American Commitment

American Legislative Exchange Council

ALEC Action

American Business Defense Council

Americans for Limited Government

Capitol Allies

Conservatives for Property Rights

Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

FreedomWorks

Frontiers of Freedom

Institute for Liberty

Less Government

Let Freedom Ring

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Tea Party Patriots

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

U.S. Business & Industry Council

 

 

 

‘Eye’ on Washington

Keep an eye on Washington this week as the American Optometric Association (AOA) – an advocacy group that spends nearly $2 million a year lobbying on the federal level alone – is flying thousands of its representatives to Washington to pressure lawmakers into backing their crony legislation.

The AOA is actively looking for Members of Congress to re-introduce their crony legislation, the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (CLCHPA). This bill is the first step in the AOA plan to completely ban third-party lens sellers, such as Walmart, Costco, and a multitude of online sellers. This is cronyism run amok. If passed, CLCHPA will give eye-care specialists the unlimited power to veto prospective third-party transactions. Current law provides a window for specialists to act. However, CLCHPA will give the AOA the control to pocket-veto transactions by simply refusing to respond to the patient’s request.

The ‘eye and mighty’ AOA is not seeing things straight when it comes to banning their competition. The Republican-controlled Congress can’t let this crony eyesore be pushed through on their watch.

“Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017” is a bait and switch

“We and the millions of Americans who support our organizations are deeply concerned that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s “Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017” is a bait-and-switch piece of legislation that will impose burdensome regulations, resulting in limited choice and higher prices for consumers. We are concerned that the House will allow a version of this legislation to be attached to the non-controversial Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) legislation.

Senator Warren’s legislation is misleading. Her proposal will increase regulation, pre-empt states, raise prices, and limit choice. It’s a solution looking for a problem. Physicians, healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers all lose under the Warren bill. We encourage Congress to oppose it at every turn.”

View the Coalition letter HERE: Coalition Opposes Sen Warren’s crony Hearing Aid Bill_it’s bad for doctors, patients, and consumers

 

The Financial CHOICE Act

 

The Financial CHOICE Act is a market-based, common sense reform proposal that will peel back the most onerous Dodd-Frank regulatory layers. The legislation begins with a conservative consensus of eliminating the most damaging provisions of Dodd-Frank, explicitly reforming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and repealing the Durbin AmendmentCoalition Letter in Support of The Financial CHOICE Act of 2017

Maryland’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Rx Prescription

real clear health

Counterfeit Medicine RealClearHealth, 4/06/2017

No patient should have to worry that their state legislators will purposely limit their access to necessary medications. However, this is the precise scenario playing out in Annapolis, Maryland this week. Lawmakers – perhaps with good intentions – are moving a bill through the State House that is reckless public policy and that will threaten the lives and healthcare for all Marylanders.

The bill – H.B. 631 –  allows the government to impose costs and regulatory burdens whenever bureaucrats believe that pricing of a medicine is “not justified.” However, the legislation, now being considered in the state Senate, sets no objective standard or legal threshold by which a judge or a healthcare provider can know what “not justified” means.

This legislation dangerously expands the power of the state’s Attorney General to interfere in the marketplace in such a way as to threaten competition. H.B. 631 will do nothing to offer relief to patients – it won’t lower prices. On the contrary, this bill will drive generic drug companies out of Maryland. By boosting the Attorney General’s power to “investigate” drug prices, politicians in Annapolis are advancing a course of action that will have the unintended consequence of reducing competition and, therefore, limiting patient access to medicines and medical therapies.

MD Flag

Elected officials “doing something” about the high cost of healthcare seems like good politics, but this “doing something” is bad medicine for patients. Marylanders deserve better than counterfeit reform.

The public debate over the cost of medicine isn’t new. Nor is political grandstanding on the issue. With H.B. 631, Maryland lawmakers from both political parties –  the House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly, 137-4, to pass this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad bill – have chosen politics over policy.

Maryland lawmakers craving the momentary praise from the media and activists are putting their constituents’ health at risk. Their attempt at bureaucratic price manipulation will hurt all patients, but such political meddling will be devastating for Maryland’s sickest and poorest patients.

This legislation will do nothing to lower the cost of prescription medicines. It will undoubtedly have the exact opposite effect. If fewer affordable generic medicines are available in Maryland, patients suffer and healthcare costs will skyrocket.

The competitive marketplace of generic medicines substantially drives down drug prices for patients.  Generic medicines saved Maryland $3.7 billion in 2015. Nationwide these medicines are 89% of prescriptions dispensed, but only 27% of total drug costs resulting in $227 billion in total savings in 2015. The overall price of generics fell over 8% in 2016, and prices are down over 70% since 2008.

Drug companies make easy targets, and healthcare policy is complicated. H.B. 631 is a short-sighted, political fix that will undermine competitive pricing and threaten patient care. It will inevitably increase drug prices and give Maryland the ignoble distinction of being first in the nation to deliberately push generics out of the marketplace.

The politics of supporting H.B. 631 is intuitively appealing; however, its promise of controlling drug prices is dangerously dishonest. When it predictably fails—and it increases the cost of medicine—will the politicians take responsibility? Or, will they look for another easy target to blame?

Better value and lower prices for medicines can be achieved without compromising patient access. But instead of exercising greater control over the marketplace, true reformers should focus on innovation and competition.

Here’s what to expect if H.B. 631 becomes law: less competition in the generic drug market which will lead to higher prices, limited access, and less choice. Patients won’t be able to obtain the life-saving medications they need.

Jerry Rogers is vice president at the Institute for Liberty and the founder of Capitol Allies. Andrew Langer is president of the Institute for Liberty and a principal at Capitol Allies. Both host a weekly podcast, the LangerCast, on the RELM Network.