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Goldwater Says “No” to Executive Order that Would Harm American Healthcare

August 11, 2020

The Goldwater Institute today joined a coalition of 80 free market, conservative, and libertarian groups and activists in signing a letter in opposition to President Donald Trump’s recent “Most Favored Nation” executive order, which would result in less medical innovation and restricted access to the most innovative treatments for our nation’s seniors.

If implemented, the order would impose an “International Pricing Index” on Medicare Part B which is the healthcare program that provides coverage for our nation’s seniors. The Executive Order limits what the program will pay for treatments based on the price controls that other countries – including those that fail to offer some of the most innovative treatments – are using. The policy would effectively adopt these same socialist health care policies that limit the availability of the most innovative treatments for our nation’s seniors and threaten American medical innovation. As the letter notes: 

Adopting these price controls will slow medical innovation, threaten American jobs, and undermine criticism of single-payer systems. In addition, a United States embrace of price controls will make it immeasurably more difficult to get foreign countries to pay their own way in the development of new medicines.

An MFN policy would also threaten our nation’s ability to respond to public healthcare crises, such as COVID-19. As the letter notes: 

The U.S. is the best in the world when it comes to developing innovative, lifesaving and life preserving medicines. Because of this, the U.S. is leading the way when it comes to developing COVID-19 vaccines, with several promising candidates entering the final stages of testing and clinical trials.

The MFN order would also harm our economy through a decrease in research and development. Medical innovation directly or indirectly supports 4 million jobs and $1.1 trillion in total economic impact, which will be threatened by importing price controls from foreign countries. 

Finally, the letter urges President Trump to apply the same successful, deregulatory, market-based approach that he has championed in other policy areas to healthcare: 

As President, you have championed vital changes in tax and regulatory policies that have allowed free market innovation to flourish. We believe a market-based approach like those that your administration has consistently supported in other policy areas will lead to economic growth and promising new treatments, but adopting price controls through the MFN plan would undermine rather than build on those successes.

here to read the full letter.

The Goldwater Institute has been a driving force for innovation in America’s healthcare system and in putting patients first. The Institute’s landmark Right to Try law protects terminally ill patients’ right to access safe investigational treatments that have yet to receive final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Thanks to the Goldwater Institute, 41 states and the federal government enacted Right to Try, and the law is already saving lives.

Likewise, the Institute’s Truth in Medicine Act improves America’s health care system by ensuring that doctors can be fully informed about off-label uses of medications so they can give their patients the best treatment possible. The Institute has also successfully fought against anti-competitive “certificate of need” laws which force healthcare providers to seek permission from government—and from their competitors—before they can purchase new medical equipment for or provide specialty care to their patients.



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