The rising cost of healthcare is on the minds of almost every Floridian and will be considered from a variety of perspectives during the 2015 legislative session, which opens in Tallahassee on Tuesday.
Many of those proposals are well intended and will lead to lower costs for businesses and families, but some only protect special interests and will raise the price of healthcare and prescription drugs.
Recently, one such initiative was launched under the guise of providing consumers with the “right” drugs.
This is a smoke-and-mirrors campaign to force insurers and consumers to purchase the most expensive drugs and treatments, even when equally effective therapies are available at lower costs.
This legislation would also create bigger government by instituting a state-run commission that would dictate how pharmaceuticals and other medical services are made available to consumers, instead of letting the private sector continue to create best practices and protocols for treatment and patient education.
Fortunately, similar proposals have been unsuccessful in past sessions as legislators, particularly leadership in the Florida House, have recognized this as bad public policy that would reduce consumers’ access to affordable healthcare.
This session, we must continue to stand up to the special interests and tell them No — Florida’s businesses and consumers will not stand for higher healthcare premiums and more expensive drug costs.
The Associated Industries of Florida hopes that lawmakers stand with us to defend consumers by rejecting harmful policies that have been proposed, like the “Right Medicine, Right Time Act.”
Instead, they should consider and embrace only those policies that lower costs, increase access and improve the quality of healthcare delivered in our state.
Tom Feeney, President & CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, Tallahassee