With a final vote in Congress expected on a reconciliation spending bill, a new Morning Consult survey explores what this legislation actually does – and does not do – and finds that voters are skeptical of its impact on inflation, worried about the consequences of Medicare “negotiation” and concerned the bill doesn’t do enough to help make medicines affordable for patients.
Here are three takeaways from a new PhRMA/Morning Consult survey of 2,005 registered voters:
1. Policymakers claim the bill will reduce inflation, but a plurality of voters believe reconciliation will hurt, not help, the overall rate of inflation.
- Forty-one percent of voters say it will hurt inflation.
- This perception is even stronger among seniors, who would be most impacted by this legislation (44% say it will hurt, 33% say it will hurt a lot).
2. Voters of all political stripes are concerned that drug pricing will become a partisan, political football – with their access to medicines on the line:
- Seventy percent – including 61% of Democrats, 67% of Independents and 81% of Republicans – are concerned when they learn that a political appointee will be put in charge of setting the prices for their medicines.
3. A majority of voters are concerned about the “fine print” trade-offs in the bill:
- Seventy-two percent are concerned upon learning the bill fails to hold insurers and PBMs accountable for shifting costs to patients and imposing high cost sharing on patients. This includes 69% of Democrats, 69% of Independents and 78% of Republicans.
- Sixty-nine percent are concerned the bill does not do enough to help patients afford their medicines, since only a small fraction of savings are devoted to improving medicine affordability.
- Sixty-seven percent are concerned the legislation could reduce incentives to develop alternative generic medicines, thus limiting patient choices.
- Sixty-six percent are concerned the bill could sacrifice more than 100 new treatments (such as in oncology and diabetes) in the years to come.
Americans have serious concerns about reconciliation and what the potential consequences would be for their wallets, health and wellbeing. Passing a reconciliation bill along party lines is not the answer. There is a better way to help lower medicine costs for patients while preserving choice, access and future innovation.
Tell Congress: Patients deserve better.
Get more information and see resources around public opinion polling at PhRMA.org/Polling.
Topics: Policy Solutions, Polling, Government Price Setting