Coalition Against Socialized Medicine Statement on Bernie Sanders’ Attempt to Interrogate America’s Innovators while Shielding Corporate Middlemen Who Distort Healthcare Costs

ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 8, 2024 – The Coalition Against Socialized Medicine (CASM), a broad coalition of leading conservative groups including the Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC), Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, the National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, Citizens Against Government Waste, American Commitment, and the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, has issued the following statement on the upcoming Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing, during which pharmaceutical CEOs will testify on drug prices in the United States. This statement is attributable to Jack Kalavritinos, CPAC’s Executive Director of the Coalition Against Socialized Medicine.

“As we all know, the so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ (which should be called the ‘Innovation Reduction Act’) with its Socialist-style price controls is already leading to access restrictions and fewer incentives to develop lifesaving cures,” explained CASM’s Kalavritinos.

“But because Democrats cannot defend the indefensible, Chairman Sanders (I-VT) intends to interrogate leaders in pharmaceutical innovation about high drug costs. Let’s be clear. This is nothing more than an effort to bully and intimidate those who oppose Sanders’ government-controlled, Socialist approach to health care and distract from the market distortions in our healthcare system. Clearly, the senator, who calls himself a “democratic Socialist,” is hoping to cow those responsible for developing innovative drug treatments – treatments that have saved thousands, if not millions of lives – into submission. Those who refuse will be verbally flogged on the public stage.”

“If Democrats in Congress were serious about lowering drug prices rather than berating people who are actually improving the healthcare of so many Americans, they would investigate the massive health insurers and PBM middlemen (many of which are owned by insurance companies). They are the ones who abuse their excessive market power to set retail drug prices and extract kickbacks in the form of so-called rebates. Unfortunately, Socialists like Sen. Sanders and others on the progressive left are willing to turn a blind eye to the problems with big insurers and PBMs because doing so would be an admission that the IRA, with its consequences for innovation, is a failure.”