In a desperate attempt to reshape the narrative, President Biden hosted a celebration last month for the “success” of his party’s disastrous $750 billion spending package. Given the Democrats had just authorized three-quarters of a trillion dollars of new federal spending to “reduce” inflation, it was fairly obvious that the messaging drummed up for Biden’s choreographed charade was pure deception and duplicity.
In their attempt to buy votes before the midterms, Democrats doubled-down on the same policies of economic misery that have plagued the nation since Biden took office. But what bears special attention are their lies surrounding the entirely new misery they created in healthcare.
Take, for example, their laughable claim that they “beat the special interests” to “lower health insurance costs” for Americans. Rather than beating the special interests, the Biden administration is actually heaping more funding on them with generous Obamacare subsidies for insurers, all while premiums are expected to rise by 10% next year.
Call it welfare for the wealthy. When the Democrats crow about finding “savings” in healthcare spending we can simply translate that word to mean “cuts,” which the IRA does to seniors’ Medicare by over $230 billion.
Instead of doing the necessary work to tackle the underlying causes of rising healthcare costs, Democrats are intent on marketing their unprecedented policy failure as a win. But so long as the insurance subsidies keep flowing like a Vegas fountain, the White House victory lap stays right on track.
The unfortunate reality is that while Democrats and President Biden run propaganda for their delusions, greedy insurance middlemen are making a killing on the backs of average Americans.
For years, Americans have seen their healthcare costs skyrocket due in part to the unfair practices of the groups that control Americans’ prescription drug benefits: Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). With incredible influence (almost 80% of the prescription drug market is controlled by only three PBMs), these middlemen negotiate considerable savings on prescription drugs that ideally would be passed on to patients.
Instead, most of these savings are kept as kickbacks, ultimately driving up prices for the consumer by as much as 20%. Put simply, the special interests have been doing quite well at the expense of American patients, and thanks to Biden shoveling more coal into the very engine of spiraling healthcare costs, they will do even better.
The only hope for taking a true stand against rising healthcare costs is for lawmakers to take concrete steps that conform to sanity, not a campaign blueprint. Realistic efforts to target the middlemen could include requirements that PBMs pass 100% of rebate savings on to patients, which would be real money back in consumers’ pockets.
Accountability in our healthcare system can also be increased by opening up PBMs’ practices to public scrutiny through stringent reporting requirements. Practical measures such as these that shine light and build transparency into the system can help bring relief to American patients.
Practicality, however, is not a trait possessed by the current occupant of the White House. President Biden has looked the other way, choosing instead to fulfill the liberal agenda of his party’s radical members.
Socialist policies that edge us closer to the abysmal healthcare systems seen in other countries will not drive down costs for Americans but will drive down access to quality care. And for this, Democrats celebrate.
Gerard Scimeca is an attorney and serves as chairman and co-founder of CASE, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, a free-market oriented consumer advocacy organization