State Health Care Premium Reduction Act

Floor Speech

Date: June 29, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLDING. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, one thing that I think has become abundantly clear during this pandemic is how important it is to incentivize biopharmaceutical innovation. Over the past few months, Federal officials worked tirelessly with drug companies to identify and develop treatments that can help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus-- indeed, save thousands of lives.

In my district, the town of Wilson, North Carolina, is home to one of the three manufacturing sites that produce over 40 percent of the world's supply of dexamethasone, which has been identified as one of the first lifesaving drugs for coronavirus patients. This site in Wilson is preparing to ramp up production and meet global demands.

Madam Speaker, to effectively fight this pandemic, policymakers must continue working with healthcare stakeholders to spur innovation and ensure a steady supply of vital drugs to treat the coronavirus.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, we are wasting time today talking about government price controls that would do the exact opposite. Rather than incentivize the development of a vaccine and new and innovative treatments, these price-setting proposals will discourage companies from investing in new drugs, and the tax penalty for noncompliance threatens to force companies and certain drugs out of the United States entirely.

That not only means that thousands of Americans could lose access to the drugs they desperately need, but thousands of folks in towns like Wilson could lose their jobs as companies leave the United States.

Madam Speaker, under no circumstances--no circumstances--can we adopt a policy that will curtail patient access to vital drugs and discourage the development of new, innovative treatments. Even the development of one less drug as a result of this policy is too many in the middle of a pandemic.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this misguided bill.