Health Care

We need to reduce soaring health care costs, improve the efficiency of the current system and enhance the quality of care. The NAM is working aggressively to drive down health care costs and ensure reforms to America’s health care system are smart and effective—and work for manufacturers and our employees.

Press Releases

NAM Launches Campaign to Support Lifesaving Innovations

Manufacturers Turn Up Heat in Key States with Seven-Figure Buy

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a seven-figure advertising campaign urging lawmakers to support the manufacturers that develop lifesaving innovations by opposing drug-pricing control proposals that act as a hidden tax on the industry. The campaign also thanks senators who have stood up for manufacturers. This nationwide digital, print and cable campaign follows an initial effort launched in mid-September that featured advertisement in several nationwide outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Axios, The Washington Post, The Hill and Politico.

We need a better approach to drug pricing that supports the manufacturers developing lifesaving and life-changing cures for people in this country and around the world, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. The proposals being debated in Congress right now would put our health at risk, abandon free market principles and move us closer to a top-down, government-controlled health care system. Our top priorities should be ensuring safety and quality, while upholding the values that make our country exceptional and economy strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

As the employers of nearly 13 million Americans, manufacturers care deeply about lowering the cost of health care, and as the innovators behind many revolutionary medicines, manufacturers are also committed to delivering lifesaving and life-changing cures to people in this country and around the world. When misguided government proposals threaten our ability to deliver health care and drive innovation, we are compelled to speak out.

More information can be found at www.nam.org/hiddentax.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.38 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic multiplier 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.

News

Drug Price Controls Threaten Innovation and Patient Health

Tell Congress to Say No to Hidden Taxes

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Healthcare worker in a laboratory with equipment

The United States has a long history of medical and pharmaceutical innovation. Yet, some policymakers have suggested imposing top-down regulations or pricing rules to reduce drug prices that would put this innovation at risk.

National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling explains drug price controls and how they could impact everyday Americans.

What’s the problem with price controls?

Everyone agrees with the goal of reducing the costs of health care—and prescriptions in particular. The question is how to get there. One way we know will not work is via government-imposed price controls or other arbitrary measures. Non-market-based approaches like this are antithetical to the free enterprise system that forms the bedrock of our economy and way of life. Once we allow the government to run negotiations on our medicines, the government will have an even stronger incentive to run our health care—and that is exactly what many who support price controls like this would like to see.

Why is this important now? 

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. Pharmaceutical manufacturers spend more on research and development than any other industry, creating new treatments and cures that have the potential to save and improve millions of lives. In addition to funding R&D up front, pharmaceutical manufacturers also put a sizeable share of their revenue back into R&D so that today’s treatments can help fund tomorrow’s cures. Imposing arbitrary price controls will threaten those investments and undermine a system that is working to save millions of vulnerable people.

How should Congress approach high drug prices?

There’s no doubt that health care costs have been rising too quickly for far too long for American families. Those costs have contributed to wage stagnation for workers and discouraged other investments in the workplace. But we need to address inefficiency, affordability, improved outcomes and flexibility to drive down health care costs without abandoning market-based approaches. Any solutions should be guided by the four pillars that have made America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.

That will require a comprehensive approach to the various forces that strain the system, recognizing the importance of innovation as a tool to reduce costs and improve health outcomes. Congress should support patient access to lifesaving medicines—and the American manufacturers and researchers that deliver them—instead of upending American health care in favor of an uncertain future.

Policy and Legal

Importing Prescription Drugs from Canada is a Serious Safety Risk

prescription drug pills

The Trump administration wants to allow Americans to import drugs from Canada as part of the President’s larger goal to lower prescription drug prices.

Robyn Boerstling, Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources at the National Association of Manufacturers, explains the proposal and how drug importation affects manufacturers.

Why is drug importation coming up now?

This has been one of President Trump’s priorities since the 2016 campaign. More broadly, lowering prescription drug prices has been a top priority for manufacturers and policymakers for some time now, as health care costs continue to rise.

However, manufacturers in the U.S. think importing drugs from Canada poses a serious health risk, especially considering the counterfeit challenges we already face.

How does drug importation fit into the larger conversation on health care?

The NAM insists something must be done to address high health care costs. But it shouldn’t just be about the transaction at pharmacy counter. Any solution has to be holistic, addressing the systematic challenges without sacrificing competitiveness and free enterprise in the process.

How does drug importation affect manufacturers?

The biopharmaceutical industry has experienced tremendous growth recently, supporting 1,100 manufacturing plants across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and employing thousands of high-skilled employees. In fact, the biopharmaceutical industry was the top manufacturing sector for job postings in 2018, according to Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insights.

These companies are at the cutting edge of creating the cures of tomorrow, and America’s policies on drug prices should take into consideration both the desire to lower prescription drug prices and the opportunities and benefits provided by this sector. Moreover, other countries don’t guarantee the same standards as drugs made in the U.S—and we should not be looking outside our carefully managed supply chain as a source of our medicines.

Why is drug importation a threat for consumers?

Counterfeit and substandard drugs are a growing problem worldwide. The challenge is most acute in the developing world, impacting about 10 percent of the drug supply according to the World Health Organization. Fortunately, the U.S. has the safest drug distribution system in the world, but importing drugs from Canadian pharmacies would be a direct challenge to that proven model.

Would drug importation work in the United States?

If this plan led by the Trump administration is truly a way to lower costs, we have to ask: Are the savings guaranteed for the patient? The infrastructure that will be necessary to assure safety will be costly. It’s difficult to ignore the question, “Will importation actually reduce prescription drug expenditures?”

It’s worth noting, in 2004 when the Congressional Budget Office looked at this issue, significant long-term savings on prescription drug spending did not materialize, especially in a Canada-only importation scenario.

There is something broken when people have access to but cannot afford the drugs they need. If the United States can build the safest medical supply in the world, we can find ways to be more affordable to the people who need relief the most.

Policy and Legal

In Today’s Political Climate, Business Community Must Lead

Jay Timmons speaking at CMA conference

At the Council of Manufacturing Associations summer conference last week, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons called on the business community to lead in today’s political climate.

Timmons urged business leaders to show Americans the good that their companies are doing in communities, rejecting discrimination and bigotry and doubling down on free enterprise and individual liberties.

Read Timmons’ full remarks.

Workforce

STEP Award Winner Leads Teams, Saves Lives

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Elaine Thibodeau accepts award at 2019 STEP Ahead Awards

As the North America Deliver Operations Lead at Johnson & Johnson, Elaine Thibodeau’s work helps ensure quality, continuity, preparedness and resiliency across the supply chain. She also serves as an advocate for women in the manufacturing industry and a voice of encouragement for millions of young women and girls who might enter the industry one day.

“I think we need to keep fighting the myth that a manufacturing career doesn’t marry well with having a family,” Thibodeau said. “We need to find opportunities to bring young women into our factories and give them early, positive experiences with the industry.”

Her 30 years of experience at Johnson & Johnson includes time in orthopedics, diagnostics, pharmaceutical manufacturing and consumer medical devices – roles that have come with all sorts of challenges. Earlier in her career, Thibodeau led a team that was tasked with taking over a third-party plant to continue producing an oncology medication that was on the FDAs drug shortage list. By making a deal with a supplier to take over a section of their plant, she kept production running.

Doctors in an advocacy group told Thibodeau how essential the medication was for their patients and how shortages caused them to make difficult decisions. “That always stuck with me – it motivated me every day to do my job well,” she said.

At times, Thibodeau faced immense challenges. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, she worked to get manufacturing up and running, bringing jobs back to the community that was deeply affected and providing vital products to enable employees to take care of themselves.

“Day-to-day life was just physically difficult,” she said. “We had to take care of the people first, making sure they had what they needed to be safe, whether that was a generator or medicines or water or diapers.” In collaboration with site leaders and other businesses in the area, she helped to rebuild the industry and begin the process of renewal.

Thibodeau’s interest in manufacturing began at a young age. As a young girl, she built furniture for her dolls with raisin boxes and pieces of wood she found in her family’s garage. When her father, an electrician, went to work, she would tag along, learning how to trouble shoot, which is a skill that has proven valuable.

“I had building blocks and I liked to sew,” Elaine remembered. “I was always interested in putting things together.” An enthusiasm for math and some encouraging teachers led her to an engineering degree, and after a few years, she was offered her first role at Johnson & Johnson – beginning an exciting career that continues to draw her out of her comfort zone.

“If the new job or the new project doesn’t scare you a little bit,” she said, “you’re probably going to be bored in six months.”

Elaine Thibodeau won a 2019 Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Award. This profile was adapted from an original interview for the Input, the NAM’s members-only e-newsletter.

Press Releases

NAM Pushes Back on Onerous State Health Care Bills

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Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has begun pushing back on a wave of onerous health care bills in state capitols across the country. Since December, the NAM has come out in opposition to legislation in Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon and Utah that seeks to lower the cost of prescription drugs but would erode manufacturers’ intellectual property protections, chill innovation or expose U.S. consumers to unsafe medicines.

There is no question that skyrocketing health care costs are disrupting families and businesses around the country, but these legislative proposals come with serious and untenable side effects for both manufacturers and patients in America, said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling. These misguided bills could undermine intellectual property rights, chill innovation or threaten to expose patients to unsafe medicines. Manufacturers support efforts to increase access to affordable medicines, but these pieces of legislation are a classic example of how good intentions can lead to negative outcomes that fail to contain health care costs.

  • In Michigan, the NAM came out in opposition to H.B. 5223 in December 2018, which threatens manufacturers’ intellectual property protections by requiring them in certain cases to submit a substantial amount of proprietary data, including costs associated with R&D, to the state Department of Health and Human Services, with no protections for the data submitted. Click here for more.
  • In Minnesota, the NAM came out in opposition to House File 1246 in March 2019, which would threaten intellectual property protections by requiring manufacturers to disclose highly-sensitive proprietary information, creating unnecessarily burdensome requirements that are contrary to the free and competitive market that has allowed biopharmaceuticals to develop new life-saving treatments. Click here for more.
  • In Oregon, the NAM came out in opposition to a legislative proposal in January 2019 that would authorize the state to apply for federal approval to import prescription drugs from Canada, which does not have the same standards or long-established mechanisms in place to protect patients as the U.S. Click here for more.
  • In Utah, the NAM came out in opposition to H.B. 267 in March 2019, which would authorize the state to apply for federal approval to import prescription drugs from Canada. The bill could expose consumers to counterfeit and adulterated therapies because Canada does not make product safety guarantees to the U.S. Click here for more.

-NAM-

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.

Press Releases

Manufacturing Workers to Benefit from NAM-Backed Health Care Reforms

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, and H.R. 6311, the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018:

These important reforms will help make quality, affordable health care more accessible for manufacturers, manufacturing workers and all Americans, said Boerstling. Further delaying Obamacare’s onerous Health Insurance Tax will prevent unnecessary cost increases for workers and retirees, and manufacturers hope to see Congress take action in the future to fully repeal this provision. The changes contained in these bills to health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts will help lower costs and give patients added flexibility to seek and pay for the care that’s right for them. Manufacturers urge the Senate to take up these important reforms, along with the House-passed repeal of the Medical Device Tax, to provide manufacturers and manufacturing workers more certainty and relief.

The NAM announced in letters to members of the House of Representatives Wednesday morning that it would key-vote passage of H.R. 6199 and H.R. 6311.

-NAM-

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.

Press Releases

NAM Welcomes House Repeal of Onerous Medical Device Tax

Manufacturers Continue to Press Congress to Repeal All Harmful Obamacare Taxes

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 184, the bipartisan Protect Medical Innovation Act:

Manufacturers welcome the House’s strong, bipartisan vote to repeal Obamacare’s tax on medical devices, and we call on the Senate to act swiftly, said Boerstling. During the two years this harmful tax was in effect, tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs disappeared, innovation stalled, and the cost of certain health care treatments requiring a medical device increased needlessly.

Manufacturers need certainty to negotiate affordable, best-in-class health plans for our employees, so we are also urging Congress to fully repeal other onerous Obamacare taxes, including the health insurance tax and the so-called ‘Cadillac tax.’ These priorities also have bipartisan support, and we urge Congress to provide manufacturers this additional relief.

On Monday, the NAM announced in a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives that it would key-vote passage of H.R. 184.

-NAM-

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.

Press Releases

NAM Welcomes DOL Announcement on Association Health Plans

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Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling issued the following statement on the Department of Labor’s announcement regarding association health plans (AHPs):

Lowering health care costs has long been a top priority for manufacturers. AHPs offer an important market-based pathway to expanded health care coverage and lower health care costs, and now is the time to make this option more widely available to smaller companies and their employees. We appreciate all of the efforts of the White House, the Labor Department and Congress in moving this forward. Manufacturers have a proud tradition of providing health care to employees—in fact, nearly 100 percent of our member companies do so. We will continue to be a partner along the way so that more manufacturing employees can thrive, be healthy and share in their sector’s success, said Boerstling.

In March, the NAM filed comments with the Department of Labor on AHPs, which essentially enable associations and groups to band together to provide health insurance to member employers and employees. Given the increased purchasing power and wider insurance pool that comes from banding together, AHPs often offer the potential of better care and lower costs.

 

-NAM-

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.

Press Releases

ICYMI: A World Without Cures

Ahead of the President’s Announcement, a Word of Caution from Manufacturers on Government-Driven “Solutions” on Drug Prices

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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.”

-NAM-

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.