Excerpts from the Washington Examiner
By: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons
May 11, 2018
“Manufacturers have long supported efforts to reduce America’s healthcare costs. And with 98 percent of manufacturers offering health benefits to their employees, we are as sensitive as anyone to the rising costs of care …
“With the Trump administration seeking ideas on how to reduce the cost of prescription drugs to consumers, we should be careful to avoid any ‘solution’ that would lead to more government intervention into our healthcare.
“In academia, the halls of Congress and state capitals, some have suggested imposing new top-down regulations or pricing rules on the companies that manufacture medicines and vaccines. Such nonmarket-based approaches sound simple and hopeful, but as is so often the case when the government applies its heavy hand, more losers than winners are likely to emerge.
“The sickest and most vulnerable Americans stand to be the hardest hit …
“Pharmaceutical manufacturers spend more on R&D than any other industry. They also put a sizeable share of their revenue back into R&D so that today’s treatments can help fund tomorrow’s cures. We are in a period of tremendous breakthroughs and medical discovery led by pharmaceutical manufacturers in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, universities and other private groups …
“Just imagine if we had never developed vaccines for smallpox, polio or tuberculosis. Picture a world with no treatments for cancer, heart disease, HIV or diabetes …
“Reducing healthcare costs requires a comprehensive approach to the various forces that strain the system. Rigid price controls or intrusive regulations in the name of ‘transparency’ will not solve the larger problem. Nor will drug importation, which could put patients at risk by exposing them to drugs that do not meet high U.S. safety standards …
“Stifling critical research and threatening America’s foundational free market principles are not the cure. The last thing we should do is sacrifice something we do well—the development of lifesaving medicines—because of good intentions gone wrong.”
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced today that it will offer an association health plan to its members, extending affordable health care to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies and member associations in approved states. In states where the association health plan is not available, the NAM will connect manufacturers with available small-group options in their state.
“This association health plan is another step in our work to make the NAM a one-stop shop for manufacturing across the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With small and medium-sized businesses making up more than 90 percent of our membership, this plan will help provide health care and reduce uncertainty for workers and their employers across the country.”
The plan, called NAM Health Care (www.namhealthcare.com), was developed to meet manufacturers’ unique health care needs. It will offer a portfolio of health benefits options insured by UnitedHealthcare. In states where these plans are available, businesses with 2 to 99 employees will be able to choose from a variety of PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) health plans. Members will also have access to UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus care provider network of more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare will work with any licensed or appointed agents who want to sell NAM Health Care.
In addition, Mercer will provide the NAM’s small business members with consulting services regarding health benefits offerings and contribution strategies, marketing support to educate and enroll their employees, plan administration and compliance services. The Mercer Affinity 365+sm platform will provide members technology for quoting, enrollment and ongoing benefits administration to drive cost efficiencies and facilitate employee engagement.
Association health plans allow companies to band together to manage and purchase health care coverage that may save on annual health insurance costs by providing plans that are typically enjoyed by larger companies at a competitive price. Under NAM Health Care, eligible member companies also will have access to supplemental benefits, including dental, vision and life.
“The work that manufacturers are doing every day grows the economy and strengthens our country, and they deserve the health care they need to do that job with certainty and support,” said Timmons. “At the NAM, we are proud to help lower costs and increase competitive health coverage for the men and women who make things in America.”
NAM Health Care is quoting these plans for eligible member groups for a Sept. 1, 2019, enrollment date. To enroll in these plans, where available, interested businesses may visit www.namhealthcare.com.