COLUMN: High quality health care, but expensive | Politics


COLUMN: High quality health care, but expensive | Politics

We have the highest quality health care in the world, but our health care – from insurance to prescription drugs – cost way too much. That’s why I’ve spent so much time and effort working on and finding solutions for you and your family to make health care more affordable in part by bringing down your prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses.

Even with all the faults in our health care system, few around the world would argue that America has the highest level of innovation available to patients. We have more cutting-edge treatments available, more clinical trials conducted and more research and development than all other countries combined.

For example, Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a deadly and debilitating disease that slowly eliminates a child’s ability to move and breathe. The U.S. has two cutting edge medicines to treat this deadly disease, one of which stops the spread of the disease in its tracks. This treatment is only available here in America.

My colleagues and I on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee in Congress responsible for writing the majority of our nation’s health care laws, have been working on bipartisan solutions to lower drug prices. Our committee recently approved nine different solutions that would save you major money at the pharmacy counter, six of which have passed the House and await action by the Senate. However, our work is nowhere near done. There are a number of other policies and packages being worked on that would make prescription drugs drastically more affordable and hold drug companies accountable when they try to game the system to raise prices at your expense.

Unfortunately, instead of taking note of our bipartisan commitment to solve the drug pricing crisis, Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent all year crafting a one-sided and wholly partisan plan that would raise your prescription costs. Her proposal lays the groundwork for a one-size-fits-all government takeover of health care that would reduce access and increase costs on all patients. Time and again, Washington Democrats send the signal they want the government to have complete control over your health care – particularly what kinds of medicine you’re allowed to access. I’ve always said you deserve the right to choose what health care is best for you, and the only way to do that is by working together – Republicans and Democrats – to get it done.

Republicans have acted in previous years to reduce drug prices by fueling medical innovation and increasing competition. In fact, last year the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved a record number of generic drugs – 971 in total, the most in history – driving competition and giving consumers more choices, notably including the first generic version of the EpiPen.

While I’m disappointed Washington Democrats are forcing Congress to waste valuable time on a hyper-partisan plan that has no hope of becoming law, I remain committed to finding bipartisan solutions to lower your drug prices. Just last week I joined Congressman G. K. Butterfield – a Democrat from Wilson – to introduce a bill to support children with cancer and other rare diseases. The Creating Hope Act incentivizes the development of treatments and cures for rare pediatric diseases and cancers by offering faster approval of medicines to any company that introduces a cure or treatment for a rare pediatric disease or cancer.

Ever since I became your Congressman, I have committed myself to working across the aisle. I will continue to try to work with any Democrat or Republican to deliver bipartisan solutions you and your family deserve.

Hudson represents North Carolina’s 8th District, which include Cabarrus and other counties.



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