Health Care

Business Operations

Porta-King CEO Steve Schulte Talks Health Care

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Steve Schulte began his career running Porta-King Building Systems, a portable building manufacturer, five decades ago. At the time, the Montgomery City, Missouri, business had just 10 employees—but as it grew, Schulte decided to offer health insurance to his employees to attract and retain a high-quality workforce.

Over time, Schulte became an advocate of providing benefits like health care to manufacturing employees—and when the NAM started developing NAM Health Care to extend affordable coverage to small manufacturers, Schulte wanted a seat at the table. Today, he serves as the chair of the NAM Health Care program’s governing committee.

“I thought it was very important for small businesses to be part of a larger group to help improve the cost of their health care,” said Schulte. “Knowing how expensive it is in today’s market—as a small manufacturer, it’s very difficult to get a competitive rate. Being a part of a larger group offers a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to get involved.”

How it works: NAM Health Care is an association health plan created by the NAM, Mercer and UnitedHealthcare. It allows manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees to band together to purchase affordable coverage that is usually available only to larger companies. Offering a range of benefits and savings, the program is tailored to manufacturers and provides tools that make the process of offering health benefits easy.

NAM Health Care is operated by the plan’s governing committee, which is made up of mostly small and medium-sized manufacturers. The committee manages the NAM’s medical, dental, vision and life plans with the support of Mercer and UnitedHealthcare.

The benefits: While Schulte’s company is too large to take advantage of NAM Health Care, he knows that the initiative still provides important benefits for his company. By helping his smaller suppliers attract and retain high-caliber employees, he can strengthen his own supply chain and the manufacturing workforce as a whole.

The last word: “As time goes on and it becomes more well known in the manufacturing community that the NAM has this offering, it will continue to grow,” said Schulte. “I’m a believer in the program. I’m delighted to be a part of the beginning stages and to be able to see the success we’ll continue to have.”

To learn more about the program, go here.

Press Releases

NAM Appreciates Biden Message and Leadership on Masks

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following President-elect Joe Biden’s encouragement for all Americans to wear face coverings.

“Americans and the American economy benefit from a consistent message on how to control the pandemic in order to bring our economy back and save jobs and lives. President-elect Joe Biden’s message today, which is based on fact and science, is the type of leadership by example that will help us achieve that.

“President-elect Biden is doing exactly what he promised: following the science to defeat COVID-19. We are very encouraged that he has also named a task force to help us defeat this invisible enemy. It is significant that only 48 hours after achieving the electoral votes necessary to be elected, the incoming president focused like a laser on this national crisis in his first address to our nation.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, manufacturers have been calling on our fellow Americans to wear face coverings in public, socially distance and follow other smart health practices, and early in the crisis provided innovative solutions and quickly retrofitted our essential operations to meet the challenge.

“As President-elect Biden said today, while we keep working toward a vaccine, ‘the single most effective thing we can do’ is wear a mask. He’s exactly right, and we hope all Americans will join manufacturers in this simple but lifesaving act.

“Manufacturers and the business community look forward to continuing to work with the Biden–Harris transition team and administration to ensure that our nation successfully restores our public health and recovers economically.”

Background: The NAM’s Creators Respond Commitment encourages our industry to commit to healthy behaviors like the use of face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and other health practices. Join the commitment here: https://www.nam.org/crc/

-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 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

Lilly Is Helping People with Diabetes During the Pandemic—and Beyond

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Many people who lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic face a terrifying prospect: that they may not be able to pay for their lifesaving medications. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company recognized that people with diabetes would be worried about affording insulin, so it stepped in to help all those in need—whether or not they have insurance.

The big idea: In April, the company introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program $35 copay card to help people struggling financially—and while Lilly introduced it as a COVID-19 relief initiative, the company quickly decided to make it an ongoing program. In addition, starting January 2021, people enrolled in participating Medicare Part D plans will be able to access their Lilly insulin for no more than $35 per monthly prescription as part of the Senior Savings Model.

As a result, everyone—whether they have commercial insurance, Medicare Part D or no insurance at all—can opt in to receive their Lilly insulin for $35 per monthly prescription. For those who received the copay card in 2020, they simply need to re-enroll in the program in January 2021. For seniors, it’s important they enroll in a participating Medicare Part D plan during open enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2020) to ensure they are eligible for this benefit.

A long record of affordability measures: Lilly has always been committed to making sure people get the insulin they need. In 2018, it unveiled the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center—a call center open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, with live operators fielding questions about insulin affordability and finding solutions for people who don’t know where to turn. The company has been able to drop pharmacy prices for some insulin users and has donated 100,000 insulin KwikPens® to nonprofits. And it is committed to solving even the largest challenges.

“If someone calls and says they’re desperate for insulin and they’re almost out, we’ll find a way to provide them with insulin,” said Lilly Diabetes Communications Senior Advisor Greg Kueterman. “We don’t want people rationing insulin. It’s not good for them, it’s not good for their health, and it’s not good for society.”

A new campaign: To get the message out about Lilly’s new initiative, the company is kicking off a program called “Insulin Affordability: Learn. Act. Share.”—encouraging people to learn about Lilly’s insulin affordability solutions, take action if they need the help and share information with friends and relatives.

The last word: “We want people to know that there’s now a solution out there for everybody,” said Kueterman. “No one needs to pay more than $35 per monthly prescription for their Lilly insulin if they take the right actions.”

You can learn more at insulinaffordability.com or by calling the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (1-833) 808-1234.

Business Operations

NAM Health Care Helps Small Manufacturers

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When Litko Aerosystems’ health-care provider increased its rates by double digits — again — CEO Ken Litko knew he needed another option. That’s when he signed his business up with NAM Health Care, an association health plan created by the NAM, Mercer and UnitedHealthcare®. The plan allows manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees to band together in order to purchase affordable coverage that is usually available only to larger manufacturing companies.

The good stuff: NAM Health Care gives small and medium-sized businesses a bunch of great reasons to join, including:

  • Comprehensive benefits: NAM Health Care offers a range of benefits, including health insurance, vision coverage, dental benefits and life insurance policies.
  • Lower costs: NAM Health Care plans may help manufacturers save on their annual health insurance costs and help employees save on premiums.
  • Access to health tools: NAM Health Care provides access to UnitedHealthcare’s largest preferred-provider organization networks. It also offers access to Mercer’s Multiple Employer Solutions suite, which is a one-stop shop designed to make the benefits buying process easy for NAM members and their employees.
  • A tailored experience: NAM Health Care is designed specifically for small to medium-sized manufacturers. Instead of forcing employers and workers to hunt around for the kind of coverage that works for them, NAM Health Care prioritizes manufacturers’ needs and interests.

How it works: NAM Health Care is operated by the plan’s Governing Committee, which is made up of mostly small and medium-sized manufacturers. The committee manages the NAM’s medical, dental, vision and life plans with the support of Mercer and UnitedHealthcare.

Why it matters: At a time when manufacturers are seeking millions more skilled workers, a strong health benefits program may help attract and retain talented people. According to a study by marketing agency Fractl, which was featured in the Harvard Business Review, 88% of respondents would give health coverage “some consideration” or “heavy consideration” when job hunting (the highest ranking in the study). With NAM Health Care, manufacturers can offer excellent benefits to current and prospective employees.

The last word: According to Litko, “We were looking for a reduction in overall cost, and we were looking for a reduction in employee costs. . . . Looking at what we have currently, I’m definitely glad we changed when we changed.”

Check out the plans here.

Press Releases

White House Threatens Innovation with Drug Price Indexing

Timmons: “The White House has chosen to dangle an axe above these manufacturers’ heads”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers launched a new seven-figure television and digital ad campaign aimed at potential rules to address drug pricing through International Price Indexing.

“As the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we should not be enacting policies that could potentially stifle pharmaceutical innovation. Price-setting schemes manipulated by foreign governments have no place in our economy. They could impact our ability to develop cures for future pandemics, cancer or Alzheimer’s. So we’re unsure why the White House has chosen to dangle an axe above these manufacturers’ heads by threatening this policy,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“Manufacturers are constantly working to lower costs for top-quality medicines and therapies, and we know that importing policies that have failed elsewhere won’t achieve that goal.”

To view the ad, click here.

-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 11.7 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Press Releases

Government Mandates Will Not Lower Drug Costs

Timmons: “We should not import failed socialist price controls”

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the administration’s proposed rules to address drug pricing.

“We should not import failed socialist price controls, and we are surprised that President Trump and Secretary Azar would consider such actions. Our battle with COVID-19 shows just how vital pharmaceutical innovation is to our health and survival, and we cannot afford to limit companies’ ability to develop lifesaving treatments for this or future medical crises.

“Importing drugs from foreign countries that don’t guarantee the same standards for drugs made for the U.S. market poses a serious health risk, especially considering the counterfeiting challenges we already face.

“If enacted, tying any portion of our system to a foreign government-run health care system, through International Price Indexing or other means, is an abdication of free market principles.

“Manufacturers of all sectors are committed to lowering health care costs, and we call on the administration to commit to better market-based solutions that won’t hand over private-sector decisions to foreign governments, potentially impacting Medicare recipients and impacting our ability to help provide lifesaving medicines.”

-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 11.7 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

New Ad Aimed at Potential White House Drug Pricing Proposals

Timmons: “We cannot afford to limit companies’ ability to develop lifesaving treatments for this or future medical crises”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers launched a new six-figure television and digital ad campaign aimed at potential rules to address drug pricing through International Price Indexing and drug importation.

“Our battle with COVID-19 shows just how vital pharmaceutical innovation is to our health and survival, and we cannot afford to limit companies’ ability to develop lifesaving treatments for this or future medical crises,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“Regardless of intentions, an international pricing index that ties any portion of our system to a foreign government-run health care system is an abdication of free market principles, and importing drugs from Canada poses a serious health risk, especially considering the counterfeiting challenges we already face. Manufacturers of all sectors are committed to lowering health care costs, but the answer is to pursue market-based solutions that deliver choice and flexibility.”

To view the ad, click here.

-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 11.7 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

News

Masks Equal Money: The NAM Asks Americans to Wear Face Coverings in Public

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Wearing a face covering in public spaces isn’t just about protecting other people—it’s also about protecting America’s reopening, jobs and manufacturing industry.

That’s the message of the NAM’s recent series of public service videos calling for the widespread use of face coverings in public—something manufacturers have been encouraging for months.

On social media, the videos have reached more than 1.4 million people and have been amplified by high-profile figures, including the U.S. surgeon general, U.S. senators and members of the media.

NAM leads the way: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons was among the first in the business community to call for social distancing and promote the use of face coverings as essential to reopening the U.S. economy.

  • “The one thing that we know right now that you shouldn’t be doing is you shouldn’t be coming in contact with other human beings, outside of your immediate family, your nuclear family. That’s it. That’s all the people are asking,” Timmons said to The New York Times in April.
  • “It’s really that simple. If you want to be a patriotic American, put on a face covering,” Timmons said on Fox Business in May, putting on a face covering himself.

Innovation amid crisis: “Our members are innovating at a rapid pace to meet the needs posed by the pandemic, and our team is responding in kind by addressing one of the most critical challenges we face in keeping our workers safe and the industry and country open,” said Erin Streeter, senior vice president of communications and brand strategy at the NAM. “We’re doubling down on creativity to see us through this crisis, so you’re seeing new tactics like deploying social media influencers to help, illustrations and designs to break through and a total guerrilla-style campaign that leverages all of our communications assets—NAM leadership, owned media, earned media and social media—to get the job done.”

#MasksEqualMoney: This week, the NAM unveiled a series of illustrations on Instagram that show how essential masks are to keeping the American economy open and protecting frontline workers.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CC8a_t5pTyC/

TikTok stars join in: To reach young people, social media stars Granny Coy Bundy and Grandpa Charles Mallet lent their platforms to the NAM.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCdpI7vJ3qQ/

Ripple effect: “We didn’t just dip our toes into this challenge; we dove in given the urgency of the public health and economic crisis,” said Streeter. “We’ve relied on the strength of our creativity to press this forward—and we’re seeing our member companies, partner associations and other business and public health entities helping to amplify our messages. We’re also seeing others follow our lead to collectively create a force multiplier effect that is making a difference.”

Business Operations

COVID-19 Testing: What Manufacturers Need to Know

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How can manufacturers help their workers get tested for COVID-19 and keep their communities safe? Many manufacturers are wondering about this, but information about testing is often unavailable, confusing or soon out of date. So we asked NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling to tell us what’s really going on.

What kinds of tests are available?  “The situation changes weekly, if not daily,” warns Boerstling.

  • New tests are in development and “coming online with greater frequency,” while the FDA is working to expand their availability quickly. A useful resource: the FDA’s primer on testing basics. The FDA has authorized approximately 113 tests to date.
  • Meanwhile, HHS continues to focus on public-private partnerships that send tests to drive-up facilities in parking lots and similar places, she adds. A list of available community testing sites can be found here.

Currently, it’s still very hard for employers to get tests for onsite facilities, and the FDA has warned that tests bought from overseas suppliers may be unreliable. As Boerstling notes, the city of Laredo, Texas discovered that the tests it bought from China for half a million dollars were only 20 percent accurate.

Is anyone verifying the accuracy of these tests? Yes, but the process is ongoing and the FDA is adapting to a rapidly changing environment, says Boerstling.

  • This week, the FDA announced a new verification tool for developers to improve testing accuracy.
  • “The NIH is working with the FDA to validate existing tests, as well as with private researchers, including a group funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” she notes.
  • “Manufacturers should visit the FDA website frequently or check in with the NAM, which is monitoring this issue closely.”

Will the tests be processed in a timely manner? “The time it takes to process a test is changing regularly and depends on the capacity of the lab being used and the type of test,” says Boerstling.

  • “Many NAM members have noted uneven lab capacity across the country.”
  • As of now, more than 245 labs are currently providing testing under the policies set forth by HHS.

What is the federal government doing about this? Congress has provided aid to boost testing capacity, but its impact will be gradual, Boerstling cautions.

  • “The recently enacted $484 billion COVID-19 relief package included $25 billion for broad testing initiatives. Currently, the NAM is working to see how employers fit into this equation,” she elaborates.
  • Earlier this month, the administration announced that it sent $11 billion to states for testing support this month, along with about 12 million swabs.

Related: Of course, testing isn’t the only important tool for keeping employees safe. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons has been stressing the importance of face coverings and other types of PPE as a COVID-19 mitigation strategy. Watch a recent video here.

Press Releases

NAM’s Timmons Named to COVID-19 Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups

Timmons: Manufacturers Will Drive Next Phase of American Renewal

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the NAM being included in President Trump’s Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.

“Throughout this crisis, manufacturers have been leading the way. Much of the sector has been fully operational, making critical personal protective equipment, medical supplies and ventilators, in addition to producing food and household essentials. Manufacturers have many examples of safe and healthy practices to share.

“Throughout the past month, the NAM has provided the White House, FEMA, the Coronavirus Task Force, DHS and other agencies with our legislative solutions for economic stabilization and future growth, as well as a database of available PPE supply and connecting the supply chain with OEMs.

“Over the past three years, manufacturers have produced impressive gains in investment, job creation and wage growth here in the United States. As the nation prepares to move from relief to recovery and bringing our $22 trillion economy out of its ‘induced coma,’ I look forward to working with the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, including the 44 NAM member companies that were also named, to drive this next phase of American renewal, while putting the health and well-being of the American people first. Ultimately, manufacturers, the backbone of this economy, want to be able to invest, grow and hire—right where we left off.”

-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 $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% 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 Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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