WASHINGTON, D.C.— House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) took to the House floor earlier today to blast Democrats for advancing a bill that would severely limit the number of new life-saving drugs entering the market during a global pandemic. Whip Scalise pointed to the historical failure and inability of Democrats’ health care schemes to live up to their promises.
In his remarks, Whip Scalise said, “Can you believe this? In the middle of a global pandemic when we’re trying and rushing to find a cure and a vaccine for COVID-19, [Democrats] are going to bring a bill to the floor to stop drugs from coming to the market — over 100 of them.”
“I think we all remember, ‘If you like what you have, you can keep it.’ Remember that phrase? Probably the most broken promise in political history — millions of people lost the good health care that they liked because Washington bureaucrats came in and said, ‘Not if you like what you have you can keep it, but if Washington likes what you have, you can keep it.’
“And they took it away. And after that, you still see years later they’re trying to pull more people out of the private insurance market that actually like what they have and say get back on this. And if it works so well, by the way, Madam Speaker, wouldn’t people be going in droves to it? In fact, it works so poorly that under this bill, they have to bribe you with over $400 billion more in taxpayer money — that’s how much this cost — more than $400 billion to take you off of the private health insurance that you like.
“This [is the] free market. If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else, but most people like their private health insurance. And so they’re going to push them onto this at the expense at over $400 billion. And if that isn’t bad enough, Madam Speaker, what else do they do? They pay for it — get this — pay for it by limiting the amount of drugs that will come to market.
“Yes, the Council of Economic Advisers has advised, and I quote, ‘As many as one hundred fewer drugs entering the United States market over the next decade, or about one-third of the total number of drugs expected to enter the market.’ Can you believe this? In the middle of a global pandemic when we’re trying and rushing to find a cure and a vaccine for COVID-19, [Democrats] are going to bring a bill to the floor to stop drugs from coming to the market — over 100 of them. And let’s read more. Quote: ‘This would reduce Americans average life expectancy by about four months.’
“My God, what are we doing bringing a bill to the floor right now, when we’re trying to find a cure, that will make it harder to find a cure? All to push more people, including wealthy people that would be eligible under this bill that already have private insurance, onto a taxpayer heavily-subsidized program that’s been failing under its own weight. Failing so much they need to add $400 billion to try to entice you to take it, and in the process limit the ability to bring life-saving drugs, like a cure for COVID-19, to the market. This absurd, this is psychotic that we’re even debating this right now.
“We should be focused on helping to expedite a cure, not making it harder to bring that very cure for COVID-19 to the market. I would strongly urge a no vote and I yield back the balance my time.”