As misguided politicians and regulators continue to target short-term lenders, which provide American…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Image of the Day: Sure Enough, Credit Card Balances Are Exploding

As misguided politicians and regulators continue to target short-term lenders, which provide American consumers with vital financial lifelines when the only alternatives are skipping payments, bouncing checks, running up credit card debts or even going to dangerous loansharks, we've consistently noted how short-term lenders' role becomes increasingly important as the U.S. economy deteriorates and credit card reliance skyrockets.  Sure enough, the New York Fed numbers provide an alarming illustration:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="546"] Credit Card Debt Skyrocketing[/caption]

All the more reason to protect consumers' access to legal, reliant, efficient short-term lending rather than irrationally target it.…[more]

December 05, 2022 • 02:38 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's Courtroom Legal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts
White House Drug Price Control Order Threatens U.S. Pharmaceutical Preeminence Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, September 17 2020
Imposing a new drug price control scheme constitutes an inexplicably reckless attack on the very same pharmaceutical innovators that are currently speeding toward coronavirus treatments.

In World War II, the United States became the world’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” a label introduced by President Franklin Roosevelt in a December 29, 1940, fireside chat as “a call to arm and support” nations allied against the unthinkable Axis menace as global war expanded.  

Although Russians to this day chauvinistically refer to World War II as “The Great Patriotic War,” as if they single-handedly defeated Hitler and the Axis, the reality is that America saved the world and won the war.  After all, the Soviets stood on the precipice of defeat with Hitler’s Wehrmacht within eyesight of Moscow’s spires when America finally entered the war, and were spared a two-front war against Germany and Japan that the U.S. was more able to master, in addition to the western fronts and vast supplies of American arms that kept Russia alive.  

“American industrial genius, unmatched throughout all the world in the solution of production problems, has been called upon to bring its resources and its talents into action,” Roosevelt said.  

Today, that story remains the same.  In the ensuing decades, and today amid a global coronavirus pandemic, America has played a similar “Arsenal of Democracy” role in providing the overwhelming share of lifesaving pharmaceutical innovations to the world.  

Disturbingly, however, a new White House executive order this week suddenly threatens our leadership role by introducing the prospect of drug price controls imported from foreign countries, some of which may practice socialized medicine.  

To understand the sheer scale of American leadership in pharmaceutical innovation, consider some simple yet awe-inspiring facts.   For years, the U.S. has accounted for jaw-dropping two-thirds of all new drugs introduced to the world.  That didn’t occur by accident, but rather from our market-based approach and strong tradition of patent and other intellectual property (IP) protections compared to the rest of the world.  

Today, in the race to defeat the coronavirus, the typical years-long or even decades-long development timeline has been compressed into mere months.  Health experts now state with increasing confidence that not one vaccine, but multiple vaccines, could be tested and available in upcoming weeks and months.  That constitutes a remarkable human and scientific achievement, with U.S. innovators once again leading the world.  

A new White House executive order, however, inexplicably threatens to undermine that sort of innovation going forward.  The order calls upon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to introduce a new “International Pricing Index” (IPI) payment model that would tie the cost of certain Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D drugs to other nations’ price control systems.  

In other words, the new executive order imports drug price controls imposed by foreign regimes.  It’s worth noting that our current system has actually reduced the cost of the 50 most popular Medicare Part B drugs in recent years.  

More broadly, the order flatly contravenes President Trump’s promise earlier this year in his State of the Union Address to oppose any and all efforts to import socialism or socialized medicine to our shores.  

Americans know from first-hand experience with 1970s gas lines, as well as from examples like Venezuela today, that price controls never work.  Nations imposing drug price controls simply cannot access the array of new drugs available to Americans, and as a consequence their survival rates for such diseases as cancer are substantially lower.  For example, of all new cancer drugs introduced to the world over the past decade, fully 96% have been made available to American consumers.  Swedes, in contrast, can access only 64% of those drugs, while Canadians only receive 59%, Japanese only 58% and Greeks only 16%.  

In 2018, the Trump Administration’s own Council of Economic Advisers reported that, “If the United States had adopted the centralized drug pricing policy in other developed nations twenty years ago, then the world may not have highly valuable treatments for diseases that required significant investment.”  

The good news is that there’s still time for the Trump Administration to come to its senses, recognize in its broader wisdom the potentially destructive effects of this order and reverse course.  Federal rulemaking generally requires months or even years to complete, providing an opportunity for sobriety to prevail.  

Indeed, as demonstrated just this week on the issue of Canadian aluminum tariffs, the Administration has demonstrated a flexibility and willingness throughout its tenure to reconsider and reverse its earlier decisions when appropriate.  

This is precisely one of those instances.  

Imposing a new drug price control scheme constitutes an inexplicably reckless attack on the very same pharmaceutical innovators that are currently speeding toward coronavirus treatments.  Instead of importing foreign nations’ socialized medicine price controls to the U.S., we should be exporting our superior market-based system with strong patent protections to their shores.  

The White House must reconsider this potentially catastrophic executive order and take corrective action while there’s still time.  

Quiz Question   
Which of the following Presidents replaced the traditional candles with electric lights on the White House Christmas tree?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this week in the biggest sleeper case of its 2022-23 term.The justices already have before them the blockbuster dispute of whether government-funded or -run colleges and universities can continue to use race in making admissions decisions, testing whether the court will live up to the Constitution's promise of equal protection of the laws and that the government…[more]
 
 
—John Yoo, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and Robert Delahunty, a Fellow of the Claremont Institute's Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C.
— John Yoo, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and Robert Delahunty, a Fellow of the Claremont Institute's Center for the American Way of Life in Washington, D.C.
 
Liberty Poll   

Congress is debating adding $45 billion more than requested to defense spending for 2023. Considering a fragile economy and geopolitical threats, do you support or oppose that increase?