Exclusive-Kevin McCarthy: Democrats ‘Torpedoing’ Bipartisan Healthcare Bills by Propping Up Obamacare

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined at left by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone, D-N.J., leads an event to announce legislation to lower health care costs and protect people with pre-existing medical conditions, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The Democratic action comes …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
SEAN MORAN

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive comment Wednesday that Democrats are “torpedoing” bipartisan drug pricing bills by including poisonous “Obamacare bailout provisions.”

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) added four “partisan” Obamacare provisions to a package of three bipartisan healthcare bills meant to lower drug pricing.

The three bills all passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous and bipartisan support; the bills would remove barriers for generic drugs entering the market.

House Republican Leader McCarthy told Breitbart News that Democrats continue to resist any bipartisan efforts to improve Americans’ lives with bipartisan healthcare legislation.

“The House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously agreed on three strong provisions for this legislation that would lower drug prices and incentivize more competition from generic drug manufacturers – essential steps toward improving our health care system and making sure it works for the American people,” Republican Leader McCarthy told Breitbart News Wednesday.

“By packaging in four other Obamacare bailout provisions, Democrats took the unfortunate but predictable step of torpedoing bipartisan legislation in order to deliver partisan promises. This further proves that Democrats are not here to legislate, nor do they take seriously the chance to actually work together to improve our health care system,” he said.

The three bipartisan bills include:

  1. H.R. 695, the CREATES Act, which would penalize brand drug makers that withhold samples from generic manufacturers.
  2. H.R. 1499, the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act, which would ban pay-for-delay agreements. These agreements encourage generic drug manufacturers to delay the release of their more affordable drugs. The bill also prevents generic drug companies from extending their exclusivity periods by delaying the release of their medications to market.
  3. H.R. 938, the Bringing Low-Cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics (BLOCKING) Act, which would limit first-approved generic makers’ ability to stall another rivals’ launch.

In contrast, Pelosi’s healthcare bills would attempt to prop up Obamacare and eliminate Trump’s healthcare reforms to offer more affordable Obamacare alternatives such as short-term plans.

H.R. 1385 would give $200 million annually in federal funding to establish state-based marketplaces.

H.R. 1386 would provide $100 million for the Federal Facilitated Marketplace Navigator program to encourage Americans to sign up for Obamacare. In 2017, Navigator received $62.5 million in grants and enrolled only 81,426 Americans, which accounted for fewer than one percent of total enrollees.

In contrast, since President Donald Trump took office, the number of Americans enrolled in employer-sponsored health insurance has increased by more than 2.5 million, meaning that there is a higher percentage of Americans in health coverage than at any time since 2000.

H.R. 1010 would eliminate President Trump’s expansion of short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI), or short-term plans, which serve as a more affordable option for many Americans. Since short-term plans do not have to comply with many of Obamacare’s onerous health insurance regulations, they could be 80 percent cheaper compared to Obamacare plans.

H.R. 987 would restore Obamacare outreach and enrollment funding, not any more affordable options such as short-term plans or Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs also offer health plans more affordable than Obamacare; Land O’ Lakes recently offered their employees health insurance through an AHP at half the cost of Obamacare plans.

Leader McCarthy has chastised Pelosi’s leadership, noting that she has failed to work with Republicans on any legislation that could pass through the Senate and President Trump could sign. Instead, McCarthy contended in a press conference in April that Pelosi’s leadership has amounted to “radicalism, resistance, and resolutions.”

Rep. McCarthy rhetorically asked the Democrats in April, “What have you accomplished? Name me one problem you have solved because the direction of radicalism, resistance, and resolutions is not the direction Americans want. America deserves better.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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