Newsline , Society

Dems Trash U.S. Constitution

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2023
by Outside Contributor

If you own a business, the leftists in Congress are coming after you. The only thing standing in their way is the U.S. Constitution.

Whether you own a mom-and-pop diner, an auto repair shop or shares in a multinational corporation, your property is at risk.

The Constitution’s takings clause was designed to protect us from government grabbing our property without paying fairly for it. But last year, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, they rammed through the Inflation Reduction Act, boasting that it would enable Medicare to “negotiate” lower prices for medications for seniors.

“Negotiate” is a lie. Under the new law, government can strong-arm companies to sell their most popular medications at a price Uncle Sam dictates, or be taxed out of existence in a matter of weeks. On June 6, the pharmaceutical giant Merck sued, claiming the law violates its constitutional rights.

Amen. This lawsuit is a red flag for everyone in America who owns anything or hopes to.

The actual language of the law is breathtakingly coercive, but let’s face it, most members of Congress don’t bother to read bills before voting on them.

The law says that any company that refuses to sell at the government’s price will be hit with a tax that starts at 186% of the drug’s revenues on Day 1 and is hiked daily until it reaches a ruinous 1,900% of revenues – not just from government sales but all sales. That would mean hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes per day.

The company has no escape. Contrast this coercion with price controls in socialist-leaning European countries, where drug companies can decline to sell at the government price.

Merck explains that it “will be legally compelled to sell its most valuable products for a fraction of their value, on pain of yet more draconian penalties. This is not ‘negotiation.’ It is tantamount to extortion.”

The law also gags the company from disclosing what Medicare officials say about price “negotiations” behind closed doors. Worse, the law requires the company to publicly call the price rammed down its throat “fair.”

Is this even America? Congress limits free speech and requires companies to state things they don’t believe.

Merck’s lawsuit objects, “Our Constitution does not countenance compelled speech in service of state propaganda.”

Congress needs a refresher course on the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment bars the government from taking your property without just compensation. And the First Amendment prohibits the government from forcing you to say something against your will. These are the bases of Merck’s lawsuit.

The law being challenged is exactly what you’d find in George Orwell’s “1984,” a novel depicting socialist despotism. The government dictates the price for your product but calls it a “negotiation.” If you refuse, your business is taxed to death overnight. You are gagged from disclosing what is happening and forced to declare the price “fair.”

If Merck’s lawsuit fails, who are the next victims? Auto makers could be forced to sell cars for the federal fleet for $10,000 a piece instead of a fair price. What about bed sheets for the Army, airplane parts for the Air Force or restaurant meals for government employees?

Merck’s lawsuit raises only constitutional issues, but Americans also need to know that price controls on pharmaceuticals could be dangerous to their health. In countries that cap prices, patients have reduced access to new drugs. Patients in France get only half the new treatments that U.S. patients get, according to University of Chicago economist Tomas Philipson.

Last week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology announced a treatment – osimertinib – that improves survival by 51% for lung cancer patients who have had surgery and face a recurrence. As a survivor myself, I cut out the article and put it in my desk drawer, hoping I won’t need it but glad it’s a possibility.

Many politicians think vilifying drug companies is good politics. They ignore the devastating impact of price controls on the pipeline for future cures.

This is a legitimate policy debate. But obeying the Constitution is not optional. Congress members swear an oath to it.

Merck’s lawsuit is headed to the Supreme Court.

Tell Biden and leftist lawmakers to read the 4,543 words in the Constitution and honor them.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey.


Share this article:
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
Joe Biden speaking with attendees
NEW YORK - OCT 10:American homeless sleeps in New York city subway on October 10 2009.A 2013 report show that the number of homeless people recorded in NYC topped 50,000 for the first time.
Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2023 Turning Point Action Conference at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
gen z and boomers; election - pick your side poster

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games