Braun: "Broken" Health Care Market Means Government Needs to Step In

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Braun: "Broken" Health Care Market Means Government Needs to Step In

Senator warns "thick-headed" drugmakers who resist making changes risk broader intervention

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Indiana Senator Mike Braun says drug companies need to quit acting like a monopoly or risk the government doing it for them.

Braun emphasizes he's a fiscal conservative, but he says conservatism resistance to government intervention can't extend to cases where the free market isn't functioning freely. He told a Facebook and telephone town hall with AARP members that's the case with prescription drugs. He argues with a few rare exceptions, such as laser eye surgery, the health care market lacks transparency in pricing. He charges the industry has abused what he describes as a near monopoly.

Braun says what he really wants is for the industry to fix itself. He says drugmakers should "get it through their thick heads" that the marketplace can't continue as it now exists. He warns resisting even modest government regulation could lead to what Braun and pharmaceutical companies would view as a far worse outcome: the Medicare-for-all plan advocated by some Democratic senators.

Braun's authored one bill to limit drug price increases to 10% a year. He says consumers would never stand for prices skyrocketing overnight on any other product. Another bill, co-authored with Utah Republican and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney, would base your co-pay on a drug's price after rebates, not before. Braun says the deals cut with employers' benefit managers distort the end market.

(Photo: only5/Thinkstock)

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