KEY VOTE: ATR Urges “NO” Vote on H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019

This legislation will impose a 95 percent excise tax on manufacturers leading to fewer cures, less innovation, and worse care for patients.

Later this week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019.  

ATR urges a NO vote on this legislation as it will harm patients, providers, and innovators. 

[See Also: 71 Conservative Groups and Activists Oppose HR 3]

  • Pelosi’s drug pricing plan will cost American patients $1 trillion a year for the next decade due to lack of access to lifesaving cures.  It will also create new entitlements for vision and dental that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • The proposal could prevent 100 lifesaving and life-preserving medicines from being created over the next decade, according to the Council of Economic Advisors.
  • The proposal imposes a 95 percent excise tax that could hit up to 250 treatments including cures for leukemia, cancer, MS, schizophrenia, bipolar, epilepsy, lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C.
  • This tax would be imposed on manufacturers retroactively and in addition to federal and state income taxes that they already must pay.  Taxes are typically imposed prospectively in order to promote consistency, certainty and fairness in the tax code. All taxpayers deserve to make decisions based on a reasonable interpretation of the law with the expectation that the future changes to the law will not be applied looking backwards.
  • Because the tax on sales would not be deductible from income taxes, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it could result in a tax rates on drug manufacturers that exceed 100 percent of their total sales.
  • The proposal also contains an international pricing index which would prohibit the “negotiated” price from rising above 1.2 times the volume weighted average price of six countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK).  H.R. 3 will also would lead to the same lack of access to the newest and best drugs for patients in other countries that impose these price controls.

Rather than push a partisan proposal that will upend the U.S. healthcare system, lawmakers should support bipartisan proposals such as those proposed in H.R. 19, the Lower Costs, More Cures Act.

By voting NO on H.R. 3, members of the House and Senate can protect American patients from fewer cures, shorter lives, and less access to quality healthcare. ATR Urges a NO vote on H.R. 3