Letter to Congress: Employers DO NOT Want Price Controls on Drugs!

By at 10 September, 2021, 11:25 am

Dear Member of Congress:

A few rogue “employer groups” who do not represent the interest of their member companies or the business community are pushing for price controls on prescription drugs, punitive taxes on pharmaceutical companies, and more government meddling in our health care system.

Millions of small to mid-size companies across the United States DO NOT support this backward and harmful approach.

Like all Americans, small business owners want lower prescription drugs costs, but imposing price controls or ‘importing’ them by allowing drug importation – or adding to the cost of research and development through government penalties – will only serve to undermine investment, innovation, and access to life saving drugs.

The harmful outcomes of price controls and punitive taxes, and the lack of support for these policies among the business community are noted within a recent SBE Council-Morning Consult survey. Small to mid-size business owners are least supportive of allowing the federal government to determine the price of prescription drugs or which prescription drugs are covered in Medicare, among all of the potential policies for lawmakers to address healthcare costs.

The business community does not want Congress focusing on price controls and punitive taxes, they want solutions that give businesses more flexibility to manage costs and chose affordable coverage. Small to mid-size businesses are united in their view that the private sector is best equipped to manage health care for their employees – not the government! In fact, 72% agree that employers and employees, not government, should decide the type of health plans offered to workers.

Read: CBO Underestimates How Price Controls Would Devastate Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Bio-Pharmaceutical Industry

When it comes to what SMBs want in terms of policies to promote affordability, flexibility, and transparency, they want Congress to focus on their actual pain points and challenges. For example, the survey reported:

● 87% of small business owners favor requiring health insurance companies to be more transparent about what is covered and what patients will pay out of pocket.

● 87% also favor requiring hospitals to be more transparent about their costs so that patients can plan ahead and aren’t bankrupted by surprise bills.

● Similarly, more than three quarters favor tax credits and financial incentives, for both businesses and individuals, as opposed to the top-down, anti-free market price controls being negotiated in Congress now.

There’s a reason why the United States leads the world in medical breakthroughs and life-saving drug innovations – like the speed at which COVID-19 vaccines were developed. Our policy environment is generally favorable to investment and risk-taking, unlike much of the world which has embraced price controls and restrictive regulation.

Given the high costs, enormous risks and vast uncertainty of working to create life-saving and life-enhancing prescription drugs and vaccines, price controls are exactly the wrong approach and will discourage entrepreneurship, investment and innovation.

U.S. Pharmaceutical Sector Dominated by SMBs

It must be remembered that the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is overwhelmingly dominated by small to mid-size businesses. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data:

● 78.7% of these firms have fewer than 100 employees

● 58% have fewer than 50 employees

● 46.1% have fewer than 10 employees.

These firms are the most sensitive to regulation and intrusive government policies.

Government price controls – one of the most intrusive government policies by far – would lead to consolidation, fewer firms, and fewer innovations.

Small to mid-size employers understand that price controls and intrusive government mandates will mean less investment, less innovation, and higher costs.

Please continue to fight for America’s innovative spirit and practical, free-market solutions in health care! And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or if SBE Council can support your efforts.


Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO


Related Content:

“Government Does Not Know Best When it Comes to Health Care,” Washington Times Op-ed, July 27, 2021, by SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

Letter to Congress on Health Care Policy: What Do Small Business Owners Want?, July 1, 2021.

Comments to the Food and Drug Administration: “Importation of Prescription Drugs,” March 9, 2020, submitted by SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

Price Controls vs. Pandemic Vaccines, Small Business Insider blog post, November 16, 2020, by Raymond Keating.

How Vaccines Are Saving Small Business, International Business Times, April 4, 2021, by SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.


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