Incumbents Plan to Talk Health Care and Drug Prices in 2020
In an article published in The Hill on Friday afternoon concerning House Republicans’ planning to use vulnerable Democrats’ votes on Impeachment this month, and possibly more in 2020, to win back the House, a Democratic operative responded with the following:
The source said they expect Democrats in swing districts to place a strong focus on health care and drug pricing.
“We have a huge, huge, huge advantage on drug prices and health care and it’s where we’re going to spend our money — money that we have more than they do,” the operative said. “We have more money on the hard side than they do, which obviously goes a lot further.”The Hill, 12/27/19
COMMENTARY: OK Republican primary voters in the 6th and 14th congressional districts, there it is in black and white, how Congressman Sean Casten and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, and the specific issues they will be talking about most in their reelection bids, will be healthcare and prescription drug pricing.
And given Underwood’s penchant to always include “…as a nurse…” to explain everything, it’s going to take even more to contest her on these two issues in the general.
So Republican primary voters need to really have the Republican candidates, especially in the 14th, to discuss fully what their positions on healthcare and drug pricing are, before the primary.
As has been written here on McHenry County Blog for months, the primary campaign is the only time we can see how any Republican who wants to face Underwood next year will be able to respond to her strengths on the issues.
And it’ll be said again, Republican candidates need to get beyond the talking points, sound bites, platitudes, abstracts and bromides and discuss concrete and detailed stances on all the issues, but especially healthcare and drug prices knowing what is coming in the general for the primary winner.
And in recent months, let’s look at what Underwood has done to reinforce this perceived strength on both healthcare and prescription drug prices:
- On October 18, published her “5 Point Plan” to bring down prescription drug prices through passage of 7 bills in the House, and with the accompanying media tour, placed her as the expert on the issue
- On November 8, hosted a town hall in Crystal Lake discussing the points of her plan, emphasizing the “negotiating” of drug prices with pharmaceuticals
- On December 11, voted with House Democrats to pass H.R. 3, the prescription drug prices legislation which includes the negotiating of prices
- On December 16, Underwood discussed details with the Daily Herald about next steps on prescription drugs now H.R. 3 was passed in the House, and specifically brought up a significant component of the Republican prescription drugs price reductions legislation, S. 2543 and realistic path to a conference committee
- On December 18, the 5th Circuit Federal Appeals Court struck down the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, which allowed Underwood to rant how Republicans continue trying to put patients like her with preexisting conditions at risk in spite of the President and three Republican ranking members of House committees saying otherwise
- On December 20, Underwood’s sponsored insulin reclassification deadline extension bill, H.R. 5444, was signed into law by President Trump as part of the $1.4 Trillion appropriations bills that passed the House on the 17th and the Senate on the 19th.
Fortunately, the Administration has not been sitting idly by on prescription drug prices, including on the insulin bill it was the Administration initiative to reclassify insulin as a biologic, and Underwood’s bill complemented the initiative.
That said, her record and her written positions on both healthcare and prescription drug prices are firmly established.
A Republican primary voter in the 14th should demand the candidates’ detailed positions, and if possible, their own record to show how they will contest the district on the issues.
Demand the Republican candidates publish their policy/position papers on healthcare and prescription drug prices as soon as possible, and make it clear in no uncertain terms, the lack of detailed positions on important issues will mean the lack of votes from the discerning voters.
Earlier in the week, Republican James Marter issued a meme explaining why H.R. 3 is a bad bill due to the government price controls euphemstically called “negotiated prices” and he was applauded for his Facebook posting by McHenry County Blog, yet also pointed out his position was incomplete and needed refinement.
But Marter was a significant step ahead of all the Republican congressional candidates in both the 14th and the 6th districts on prescription drugs.
And here’s a final reminder of what the 14th district Republican nominee will face against Underwood on prescription drugs, given this little over 3 minutes video clip from the Crystal Lake town hall last month, tweeted this past Monday: