Sen. Marshall Votes Against Reckless Tax and Spend Bill

(Washington, D.C., August 7, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released the following statement after voting against the Democrats’ reckless tax and spend reconciliation package:

“Since Joe Biden and the Democrats took control in Washington, they’ve put an enormous tax on Americans through their spending driven inflation. Today, they’ve once again passed a massive spending bill that contains additional tax increases and funding for nearly one-hundred thousand IRS agents. This will only drive our economy further into recession and will be detrimental to all hard-working Kansans who will continue to see steep prices for gasoline, groceries, rent, and it’s going to kill jobs,” said Senator Marshall. “What’s more is through the drug pricing provisions, this legislation will force Americans to settle for end-of-life care rather than protecting current and future access to life saving drugs. This is a sad day for our nation. November can’t come soon enough.”

Background on Senator Marshall’s Amendment:

During the process to modify this legislation, Senator Marshall offered an amendment to excludes two categories of drugs from government-controlled pricing. This includes Medicare’s six protected classes and those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Breakthrough Therapy designation. Both categories are intended to protect patients with mental illness, organ transplants, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV, and other serious health conditions. All 50 Senate Democratsvoted against Senator Marshall’s amendment.

Without Senator Marshall’s amendment, the Democrat-led bill will leave the U.S. with at least 15% fewer drugs developed and brought to market in the next 17 years. Additionally, it would threaten access to next-generation treatment and care for patients with life-threatening illnesses. And, frustratingly, this bill takes any potential Medicare savings and uses them to supplement wealthy individuals’ ACA subsidy, rather than pouring it back into Medicare to help it remain solvent. The amendment follows an op-ed he penned for FOX News today detailing how price controls harm pharmaceutical innovation and access.

Additionally, Senator Marshall recently spoke at a press conference about the Democrat-led bill, which will leave the U.S. with at least 15% fewer drugs developed and brought to market in the next 17 years. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch.

Within his first two years, Senator Marshall took lowering health care costs head-on. First, he championed the bipartisan Ensuring Innovation Act that increases access to generic drugs and biosimilars while preserving innovation. This was one of the first bills that made it to President Biden’s desk to be signed itto law and it stops pharmaceutical companies from gaining additional market exclusivity based on slight tweaks to their existing medicine. Next, Senator Marshall secured nearly half a dozen policies in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Landmark Advancements Act, a package that reauthorizes the FDA’s user fee programs. Notably, he worked on several policies to improve and make drug development more efficient and less costly by allowing the use of real-world evidence to support the approval of drugs aimed to address serious conditions that fill an unmet medical need under the Accelerated Approvals Program.

He also helped introduce and pass the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act to speed the development and approval of therapies for ALS and other rare neurodegenerative diseases. He helped introduce the legislation last Congress and was signed into law December 2021.

Republican lawmakers have a comprehensive solution to drug pricing. Senator Marshall joined the Finance Committee Ranking Member, Senator Crapo (ID) in reintroducing the Lower Costs, More Cures Act. The legislative package contains bipartisan proposals that can lower out-of-pocket patient spending, protect access to new medicines and cures, strengthen transparency, and champion competition. The legislation includes more than 20 policies to address medicine affordability. Of note, it increases insulin affordability for Medicare seniors with diabetes by limiting their out-of-pocket costs to $35 and establishing an annual out-of-pocket cap of $3,100 for seniors. The package also includes his bipartisan GENE Therapy Payment Act, legislation he wrote while serving in the U.S. House of Representative. The bipartisan bill would establish a value-based payment system so that Medicaid beneficiaries have quality access to breakthrough treatments like gene therapy.

To learn more about the Lower Costs, More Cures Act, click here.

Background on Democrats’ Reconciliation Package:

Policies contained in this $700 billion bill include:

  • A 15% book income minimum tax, an estimated $313 billion tax increase on American businesses that will be passed down to consumers;
  • Nearly $370 billion in “energy security and climate change” tax credits that includes subsidies for purchasing $80,000 electric vehicles and green energy home modifications;
  • Government price controls for prescription drugs disguised as Department of Health and Human Services “negotiation”; and
  • $80 billion for hiring new IRS agents and funding audits of middle-class Americans and small businesses.