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Controlling Drug Price Control (Guest: Jim Martin)

December 11, 2019

The Heartland Institute's health care policy advisor Sarah Lee interviews Jim Martin of the 60 Plus Association on the anti-free-market policy idea of drug price controls to help address the worry over surprise billing.

The Trump administration has been flirting with the idea of importing prescription drugs as a way to informally introduce price controls on pharmaceuticals to help control the exorbitant cost of prescription medications and address surprise billing. The progressive wing of the Democrat party is attempting to formalize this idea by introducing what Jim Martin, Chairman of the 60 Plus Association (a free-market alternative to the the AARP) calls "Pelosi's Plan".

While Martin is a Trump supporter and has generally agreed with the administration on their moves in the health care space, he worries that price controls will ultimately stifle innovation in the drug market and allow government a larger share of negotiating power, while helping "Big Insurance" make a profit off seniors who will be affected more than most. Martin and his group recently penned a letter to Congressional members not to be taken in by "Pelosi's Plan" — which could show up in the end-of-the-year budget deal — and to let the free market determine the price of medicines. He joins the Health Care News podcast to discuss.

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.