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FreedomWorks Leads Letter to Oklahoma Senate Opposing Prescription Drug Price Controls in SB 734

Today, FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon sent a letter alongside 190 of our Oklahoma activists to the Oklahoma State Senate in strong opposition to Senate Bill 734: An Act relating to prescription drugs

As the letter conveys, FreedomWorks and our activists are highly concerned that Senate Bill (SB) 734 plays directly into the hands of proponents of centralized planning and government control of healthcare, including U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). This legislation runs counter to the market-based system we have in America and leads us further toward importing the devastating inefficiencies of socialized medicine abroad.

In Oklahoma, Senate Bill 734 is likely to receive floor consideration in the Senate this week, and we are encouraging leaders to pull it from consideration and all senators to oppose any further movement on this legislation. The text of the full letter can be found below, and a PDF with signers is available here.


Dear Senate President Pro Tempore Treat and Senate Majority Floor Leader David:

On behalf of FreedomWorks and the activists we represent in Oklahoma, thank you for your continued work on behalf of the state. As strong advocates of federalism and believers in the critical functions of state and local government, we understand that effective leadership in cities across the country -- not just in Washington, D.C. -- is critical to advancing freedom.

We write today in strong opposition to Oklahoma Senate Bill 734, which would sacrifice market principles that have allowed our nation to prosper for centuries, in exchange for government-set rates -- or price controls -- in the prescription drug space, based on the price of drugs in Canada. While we understand and are actively seeking solutions to the rising cost of prescription drugs in our country, imposing an international pricing index in the state of Oklahoma would only serve to exacerbate the problem -- risking shortages and limiting necessary research and development.

Senate Bill 734 is similar in nature to U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill H.R. 3, a Democrat-only bill which passed last year almost entirely on party-lines. It also draws from self-avowed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) S. 102, which, like Senate Bill 734, directly ties the price of prescription drugs to those drugs’ prices in other countries, including Canada.

Mirroring the radically leftist policies of central planning in healthcare, which have decimated the healthcare systems of countries abroad, is definitively the wrong direction to take healthcare policy in our country, built on principles of free markets and rejection of government overreach.

Specifically, Senate Bill 734 would undercut private companies’ latitude to innovate as needed which has kept our country as the global leader in advancing modern medicine. Giving the government the authority to set rates implicitly prescribes the government the authority to decide which medicine is worth investing in, and in turn, who is or is not worthy of healthcare.

Ultimately, it puts our healthcare system further down the road towards full government control of healthcare, which creates life-threatening shortages of the very medicines that the authors of Senate Bill 734 seek to lower the price of. Instead, turning further to policies such as rebate reform that embrace the principles of free markets and competition is the correct -- and the most effective -- way to lower the rising out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs.

We hope you will join alongside us and our activists in Oklahoma in opposing Senate Bill 734. A list of 190 activists, broken down by ZIP and district, who oppose SB 734 can be found below.

Respectfully,

Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks