BILL REQ. #: S-3115.3
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2003 Regular Session|
Read first time 04/25/2003. Referred to Committee on Health & Long-Term Care.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND THE SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The use of prescription drugs improves the quality of care and helps patients live healthier, longer, and more productive lives, while keeping them out of more costly acute care settings in the long term; and
WHEREAS, Expenditures for prescription drugs have been one of the fastest growing components of health care spending in the last decade, placing substantial strain on the budgets of individuals and public programs; and
WHEREAS, Federal statutes, including the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA '90) and Section 340B of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, established a pricing structure for prescription drugs in the United States; and
WHEREAS, These federal statutes have interfered with the free market and have had numerous unintended and detrimental consequences, including serving as a disincentive to lower prescription drug prices for most consumers and supporting inappropriate and unfair public competition with the private sector; and
WHEREAS, The impact of this federal prescription drug pricing structure is particularly hard on rural communities, where it discriminates against private health care providers who serve not only as an essential community "safety net," but are also a critical part of the local economy with the services they provide and the workers they employ; and
WHEREAS, Absent federal policies giving private retail establishments access to lower drug prices that can be passed on to all consumers, many people will continue seeking less expensive alternatives in foreign countries, on the Internet, and through well-intended but faulty discount programs, or will be forced to rely on already overwhelmed public programs;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully request that the United States Congress repeal the sections of OBRA '90 dealing with prescription drug pricing and Section 340B of the Veterans Health Care Act of 1992, and pass new laws which separate the cost of a prescription drug from the delivery of service, thus letting the free market work.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.