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By Danny Seiden And Todd Sanders//February 5, 2024//

As Arizona’s legislature reconvenes, we are looking forward to the opportunity for our leaders to continue the great work that has made Arizona one of the most attractive states to live and grow a business. From our robust and diverse economic foundations to an excellent quality of life, there is good reason to be bullish about Arizona.  

Throughout our careers, we have collectively fought to pass legislation that allows job creators to thrive and families to enjoy a lower cost of living. But with the opening of the 2024 legislative session and the opportunity to advance thoughtful, common-sense policies, there is great risk of overregulating a free market that has brought so much success to our state. 

a man in a suit and tie
Danny Seiden (Photo by Jennifer Stewart)

One such area is health care. The Governor along with a number of Republican and Democratic policymakers, have proposed a variety of new business mandates, all of which ultimately hurt affordability and availability. One such unnecessary proposal would inject additional government regulation into the marketplace, causing a burdensome increase in already high health care prices. The proposed plan would create drug pricing panels, burdensome Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) regulation, and price-fix specific drugs, all of which will reduce access and increase costs for Arizona families and employers. In fact, PBMs are a critical component in the health care marketplace as they negotiate prescription drug savings for employers and their employees, with more than 90% of employers recently indicating their overwhelming satisfaction in working with their PBM.

Make no mistake: the health care marketplace in Arizona is already heavily regulated. The suggestion of more such policies has the potential to force businesses to choose neighboring states over Arizona. Decisions about which drugs to cover, or where a prescription can be filled, are best left to the employer, employee, and health plan, not heavy-handed government. More government mandates and regulations are not the answer. 

Todd Sanders
Todd Sanders

These new proposals are dangerous and take our state in the wrong direction. Thousands of Arizona businesses, community organizations, non-profits, and even the State of Arizona utilize PBMs as an essential tool to fight the ever-increasing pharmacy and drug costs. Our organizations fight to keep healthcare costs low for employees and employers, interfering in these private contracts is a dangerous precedent the government should not entertain.  

 Let the free market work. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, growing a small business, or a hard-working Arizonan, the government works best when it focuses on protecting rights and investing in infrastructure, not regulating industry into a corner. In fact, the Department of Labor just announced they overpaid by $300M for prescription drugs because they decided not to use a PBM to negotiate drug prices.

We look forward to a successful 2024 legislative session and encourage legislators from both parties to find solutions that benefit all Arizonans and help our economy grow rather than taking sides and crippling a competitive, robust marketplace. 

Danny Seiden is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Todd Sanders is the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber.  

The post Proposed Health Care Policies Could Overregulate Free Market appeared first on Greater Phoenix Chamber.

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