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Hearing Roundup: “Biden Budget Puts Washington in Charge of Americans’ Health Decisions”

June 09, 2021

President Biden’s budget puts Washington in control of Americans’ life-or-death medical decisions, when what they really need are good paying jobs and growing paychecks.


Ways and Means Republicans joined Tuesday’s Committee Hearing to highlight how Biden’s budget sabotages America’s recovery, shrinks workers’ paychecks, and undermines American competitiveness around the world.


Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) raised his concern for the Biden administration’s support for the TRIPS waiver and emphasized the need to support American manufacturing andpharmaceuticals in order to continue to be the world’s leader in medical innovation:


“It’s critical that we assist the global distribution of vaccines, but a TRIPS waiver, which is opposed by allies like Germany, would take years before yielding large numbers of vaccine numbers abroad. I’m disappointed that the Administration announced support for this waiver without consulting Congress…”


Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) pointed out the need for affordable insurance for small businesses, beacause as costs go up, they get passed onto workers who cannot afford it:


A lot of workers are working at restaurants and small businesses. They can’t afford to absorb all the increases. A lot of that is being pushed to the middle class.”


Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) asked for answers and transparency as Biden’s border crisis makes challenges facing our U.S. foster care system worse:


“I would really like to see going forward: what is the policy going to be? What is the process going to be? And what does the contract look like?”  


Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) raised concern about the incorporation of the quality-adjusted life years in setting drug prices from foreign countries, which could undermine American drug pricing:


“One of the things I’m greatly concerned about is the incorporation of the quality adjusted life years in setting drug prices from foreign countries in American drug pricing policy.”


Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) asked for clarity on CDC mask mandates for children and confirmation that none of Biden’s budgets will go towards aiding our foreign competitors:


“We still do not know for sure whether COVID originated naturally or as a result of an engineered virus leaked from the Wuhan institute of virology. It is more likely than not the latter is true, and we do know that China is actively trying to hinder investigations into the virus’s origins.”


Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) emphasized support for a change in process to allow Americans to go directly to audiologists rather than being referred under Medicare:


“We can’t really afford to have our welfare recipients be docked because of this failure that was put on us by COVID.”


Rep. David Schwikert (R-AZ) shared support for allocating healthcare spending toward addressing health outcomes and comorbidities such as diabetes:


“Many of us talk about healthcare and affordability in a light of who gets subsidized, who does not get subsidized, instead of what we pay. And I beg of you – start thinking about what we pay. Because over the next 30 years, the one hundred plus trillion dollars of U.S. sovereign debt that will be on the books in today’s dollars – 67 percent of that is just from Medicare. We need a revolution in what we pay.”


Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) pointed out the need for the Biden Administration to address the prevailing issue of unaccompanied minors at the border:


“The Biden Administration has a responsibility to acknowledge that what we are seeing at the southern border is indeed a crisis and that’s its mis-guided policies are to blame.”


Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) urged his colleagues address drug pricing that keeps American drugs competitive:


“I believe foreign price controls will not leave room for the next set of cures. We have that balance between innovation and cost at the end of the day. Let’s lead the world on both of those things.”


Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) emphasized the work that Republicans on the Ways and Means Rural Healthcare Task Force have done with telehealth to improve access to rural communities:


“We all have desired goals that I think we agree upon in getting these incentives right. Namely, to improve access and quality, and to lower the cost. I would say that Obama was an abject failure on every front in that regard.”


Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) discussed the impact that H.R. 3 will have on innovation and bringing cures to the American people, as well as the loss of pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs:


“I am very concerned about the impact that H.R. 3 will have on innovation, the impact that it will have on bringing cures for Alzheimer’s, diabetes, other things like that to the American people. But I’m also concerned about the loss of pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs.”


Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) examined Biden’s wasteful spending and shared Republicans’ priority for helping families and small businesses, as well as protecting our seniors:


“Instead of sending our nation on a path to fiscal stability, I have a concern that this wasteful six trillion-dollar budget, which is the largest in our nation’s history, would send us on a course to higher spending, more taxes, and runaway debt.”


Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) pointed out that President Biden’s plan spends taxpayer dollars for abortions:


“When the President’s budget was released, my constituents were furious to learn that he removes the Department of Health and Human Services ability to protect human life by removing the Hyde Amendment and spends more of their hard-earned money to increase funding for abortion providers.”


Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV) warned that Biden’s budget would result in fewer cures, chill American innovation, raise prices on seniors, and cost American lives:


“Instead of a top-down government-centric approach outlined by the administration’s budget, I think we should focus rather on the patients, the cures, and ensuring long-term solvency for our healthcare system.”


Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) emphasized the need to continue telehealth accessibility beyond the pandemic:


“Telehealth is helping to reach underserved communities throughout the nation, even populations like the Amish in my area. If there’s one area of bipartisan work that can be accomplished this year, I hope to work with the Administration to make sure that we can continue to provide the access that telehealth has provided.”