Medical sector needs to band together to prevent legislative misconduct

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Until last week, a series of bills pushing for extreme Democratic policies to transform Minnesota’s healthcare system quietly moved through the legislative process. The Mayo Clinic then sent emails to DFL legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz warning that the state of Mayo would divert billions of dollars of planned investment to other states if the two policies passed. The news came out.

Mayo’s ultimatum reflects the broader reality of what would happen to Minnesota’s health care system if the full package of far-left policies became law. These are top-down compilations of the worst regulations the government knows best, solidifying Minnesota’s position as the most highly regulated health care state and future investments and innovations to provide better patient care. would be lost.

Unfortunately, all the major players in the medical field have focused on defending their turf and kept quiet otherwise, leaving patients completely unaware of what will happen. To make matters worse, they pitted each other against each other in a blame game to try and direct the damage from his DFL policy onto other players. Like most patrol firing squads, it doesn’t work.

Early on, the Accessible Medicines Association, which represents generic drug makers, urged lawmakers to remove generic price controls from the bill and instead focus on higher-cost branded drugs.

To defend branded drug makers from the same bill’s price cap, its lobbying arm, PhRMA, highlighted how insurance companies and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) contribute to rising drug costs. . PhRMA also itemized some top-down government regulations lawmakers should impose on these players.

Ultimately, PBM’s co-conspirators against PhRMA, the Minnesota Health Planning Council, were to stand up to the drug companies in explicit support for drug pricing controls.

Physicians representing the Minnesota Medical Association, by no means an exception, have voiced legitimate support for public option healthcare plans to compete with private healthcare plans. This means cash flow reinsurance, a program that became a national model in 2019 when it lowered individual market premiums to the lowest levels in the country.

The Minnesota Hospital Association had little involvement in the fight, only opposing policies that directly affected the work of its members. This includes two troubling policies Mr. Mayo has identified. hospitals to have nurse staffing and workload committees; and a healthcare cost burden committee empowered to set and enforce healthcare cost limits.

Although the hospital did not participate in the firing squad, their silent voices kept Minnesotans in the dark about the grave risks these DFL policies pose to patients.

It took Mayo’s leaked emails to sound the alarm in the final weeks of the show. Recently, 68 Minnesota non-profit hospital leaders issued a statement saying the DFL regulation “has a negative impact on hospital care.”

But where were they in January, when public pressure might have been more effective? More importantly, where are they included among all the other harmful regulations Democrats are planning across the rest of Minnesota’s healthcare system?

In review, Democrats want the Prescription Drug Fair Price Commission to impose price controls that reduce access to life-saving drug innovation. A new non-elected bureaucracy that imposes cost limits on health care providers and forces them to distribute health care. High insurance coverage requires more control over the design of medical plans. A committee that holds nurses accountable for putting themselves before patients. A public option that undermines private health care plans. and the elimination of the state’s nationally-led reinsurance program.

Hospitals, doctors, drug companies, PBMs, and healthcare plans should all share the same concerns about what’s happening in Congress. Time and again, government actions on pricing, micromanagement of private companies, and consumer product design have resulted in stifling innovation. In healthcare, less innovation leads to lower quality patient care.

It’s time for the health sector to stop pointing fingers and join hands to educate and protect patients against what Democrats and Governor Waltz are pushing in the Capitol.

Peter Nelson is a senior policy researcher at the Center for the American Experiment and a former senior advisor to the administration of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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