Health Care

We need to reduce soaring health care costs, improve the efficiency of the current system and enhance the quality of care. The NAM is working aggressively to drive down health care costs and ensure reforms to America’s health care system are smart and effective—and work for manufacturers and our employees.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Join Senators’ Call for Immediate Action on PBM Reform

Washington, D.C. Following a press conference today in which Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) called for pharmacy benefit manager reform, National Association of Manufacturers Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram released the following statement:

“Manufacturers stand with Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo in their calls for PBM reform as soon as possible. Manufacturers are committed to providing health benefits—with 93% of manufacturing workers eligible for employer sponsored health insurance—even as PBMs continue to drive an increase in health care costs. PBM reform, including in the commercial health insurance market, must increase transparency, ensure PBMs do not pocket manufacturer rebates and delink PBM compensation from the list price of medications.”

Background:

  • As part of efforts to reduce health care costs for manufacturers and manufacturing workers, the NAM has advocated PBM reform consistently, including in the commercial health insurance market.
  • PBMs increase health care costs at the expense of manufacturers and manufacturing workers by applying upward pressure to list prices that dictate what patients pay at the pharmacy counter, pocketing biopharmaceutical manufacturer rebates and failing to provide adequate transparency about their business models.
  • The NAM supports reforms that will benefit employers by making PBM contracts more straightforward, transparent and predictable and workers by reducing the prices they pay out of pocket for their prescriptions.
  • Last year, the NAM launched a six-figure television and digital advertising campaign calling for reforms to ensure PBMs pass on prescription drug discounts directly to workers and employers.

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The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.85 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Previewing the State of the Union

With President Biden set to deliver the State of the Union address Thursday, manufacturing is likely to be in the spotlight once again. At the NAM, we will be listening closely for our key priorities—those that have been achieved and those still in progress. 

Promises kept: President Biden has been a partner on a range of issues that are key to manufacturers across the United States. We hope he will outline how pro-growth legislation has helped set the stage for manufacturing growth, with industry employment reaching a 15-year high.

  • CHIPS Act: The CHIPS and Science Act marked a major push to boost manufacturers’ competitiveness, supporting large and small businesses up and down the supply chain by investing in domestic semiconductor production and funding programs to support the STEM workforce, advanced technology development, excavation of critical minerals, clean energy and more.
  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill: President Biden secured a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, a long-sought, major achievement for manufacturers throughout the country, offering transformational upgrades and significant investments in America’s manufacturing capabilities.
  • Inflation Reduction Act: Some of the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act supported manufacturers across the United States, with direct investments and tax credits generating a major increase in manufacturing construction and jobs.
  • Ukraine: The Biden administration has been unwavering in its support of Ukraine. The NAM—which in March 2022 passed a unanimous resolution denouncing Russia’s invasion of the country—has kept the pressure on Congress to pass the stalled Ukraine aid bill.

Progress to come: But this progress will be undermined if the Biden administration continues to issue onerous regulations and call for policies that make it harder to innovate, invest and expand in America. The NAM is working hard to push back against items that would harm manufacturers and encourage the president to refrain from pursuing policies that will make us less competitive.

  • Taxes: The NAM is pushing back against any new taxes or attempts to increase tax rates on manufacturers, and we are pressing for tax policies that will make it easier to invest in the future—including the “tax trifecta” found in the recently House-passed Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act. The NAM urges the Senate to approve these business tax provisions quickly.
  • Protecting intellectual property: Late last year the administration proposed invoking “march-in” rights to seize the patents of any products it deems too costly—if those innovations were developed in any part with federal dollars. This move, which would open the door to similar actions in other sectors of manufacturing, would undermine manufacturers’ IP rights, disincentivize early-stage entrepreneurship and dissuade capital investment, all of which could jeopardize our ability to develop future cures. This is just one example of how actions that undermine manufacturers’ IP can have dangerous unintended consequences.
  • Regulations: Burdensome rules—such as the tighter National Ambient Air Quality Standards from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s recent freeze of liquefied natural gas export permits—are preventing manufacturers from creating jobs and harming U.S. competitiveness. We need to end the regulatory onslaught and give manufacturers the chance to grow.
  • Energy: Manufacturers in America are at the forefront of the planet’s work to reduce emissions and promote sustainable energy. But to be effective, we need to embrace an all-of-the-above energy strategy that uses the fuel we have while developing the tools we need.
  • Immigration: Immigration and border security reforms must be a priority for the administration and Congress. Inaction poses significant economic risks—especially at a time when manufacturers have 600,000 open jobs. Manufacturers are leading on bipartisan solutions, like those found in our A Way Forward plan.

The last word: “Our commitment is to work with anyone, and I truly mean anyone, who will put policy—policy that supports people—ahead of politics, personality or process,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Because here’s what I know: Manufacturers are building an incredible future for our country and our world. And we need partners in the federal government who will work with us to reduce burdens on manufacturers and manufacturing workers, rather than creating barriers to our success.”

Learn more: For more information on the state of manufacturing, check out the 2024 NAM State of Manufacturing Address here.

Policy and Legal

NAM: Withdraw Administration March-in Framework Now

The Biden administration’s proposed “march-in” framework would be devastating for American innovation and competitiveness and must be withdrawn immediately, according to the NAM.

What’s going on: In December, the administration issued proposed guidelines to enable the government to “march in” and seize manufacturers’ patents if their products were developed in any part with federal dollars.

  • But the move—which a bipartisan group of 28 legislators opposed in a letter to the White House last week—would be fundamentally ruinous to manufacturing in the U.S., according to the NAM.
  • “Undermining America’s world-leading patent system is a recipe for reduced innovation and significant economic damage, with a disproportionate impact on small manufacturers,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Charles Crain.

Price controls: The proposal is tantamount to government price controls, the NAM said.

  • “If finalized, this threat to innovation would for the first time enable the government to set price controls on products that incorporate [intellectual property] from early-stage federally funded research.”
  • “Manufacturers that do not comply with the proposal’s arbitrary and uncertain pricing criteria could see the government march in, seize their IP and license it to a competitor.”

Undoing advancements: Prior to the 1980 enactment of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed for the commercialization of federally funded research, groundbreaking discoveries “often remained stuck in the lab, as private-sector entrepreneurs and investors were unwilling to license innovative technologies given the uncertain path to commercialization,” the NAM said.

  • “Limiting manufacturers’ ability to commercialize groundbreaking innovation means that early-stage research will remain on the shelf in university labs.”
Business Operations

Reports: Obesity a Challenge for Manufacturing Employers

Obesity is costing U.S. companies and their workers hundreds of billions of dollars a year, according to a new report, the findings of which are in line with those of a 2023 NAM report on employer-sponsored health care.

What’s going on: “Obesity and overweight are estimated to have caused a staggering $425.5 billion in economic costs to U.S. businesses and employees in 2023, according to a report released by GlobalData Plc, a leading data and analytics company,” MarketScreener reports.

Why it’s important: Obesity can make workers more prone to absenteeism (taking time off) and presenteeism (being less productive while on the job), both of which come with a significant price tag, according to the reports.

  • Some 46.1% of manufacturer respondents to an NAM survey said obesity affected their workplace productivity and employees’ ability to complete their job functions.
  • Absenteeism costs employers $82.3 billion each year, with presenteeism accounting for an additional $160.3 billion, according to the GlobalData report.

Impact on manufacturing: The economic impact of excess body weight on manufacturing is the fourth highest of the seven industries examined by GlobalData, at $44.5 billion annually.

What can be done: Manufacturers care deeply about ensuring their employees have access to high-quality, affordable primary care providers who can help employees manage their weight through personalized interventions like diet, exercise, behavior modification, medications and surgery.

The last word: “Manufacturers support efforts to continue to destigmatize these chronic health challenges and approach them like any other condition so that workers and their families feel comfortable choosing from the full suite of available treatment options in order to live healthier and more productive lives,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Charles Crain.

Policy and Legal

NAM-Supported PBM Bill Clears House Oversight Committee

Pharmacy benefit managers are contributing to the skyrocketing cost of health care for manufacturers and must be reined in—and that’s why the NAM supports the bipartisan Delinking Revenue from Unfair Gouging (DRUG) Act, passed yesterday by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

What’s going on: PBMs, created in the 1960s with the intention of keeping prescription drugs affordable, are now doing the very opposite, the NAM informed the committee ahead of Tuesday’s markup.

  • PBMs “increas[e] the price that health plan participants pay for medicines,” NAM Vice President of Domestic Policy Charles Crain said. “By applying upward pressure to list prices that dictate what patients pay at the pharmacy counter, pocketing manufacturer rebates and failing to provide an appropriate level of transparency about their business models, PBMs increase health care costs at the expense of manufacturers and manufacturing workers.”
  • In addition to other reforms, the DRUG Act would require “delinking”—ensuring that PBMs charge a flat rate for their services rather than charging a percentage of a medication’s list price. This critical reform would “remov[e] PBMs’ incentive to put upward pressure on list prices in order to maximize their own profits,” Crain said.

Why it’s important: The NAM—whose advocacy, including a six-figure ad campaign, helped lead the DRUG Act to passage by the House Oversight Committee—“has long favored delinking PBM compensation from the list price of medications, including in the commercial market,” Crain continued.

  • The NAM will continue to advocate for PBM reforms that “will benefit employers by making PBM contracts more straightforward, transparent and predictable—and will benefit workers by reducing the prices they pay out of pocket for their prescriptions.”
Research, Innovation and Technology

Manufacturers Launch Seven-Figure Ad Campaign Opposing Biden Administration’s March-In Proposal

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a seven-figure television and digital advertising campaign opposing the Biden Administration’s new proposal that would allow the government to march in and seize the rights to groundbreaking innovations developed by manufacturers.

“This radical new proposal is a major threat to manufacturers in America and counter to the president’s goals of growing the sector,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Empowering the government to march in and seize the rights to private-sector patents and technologies threatens American innovation and R&D, putting millions of well-paying manufacturing jobs at risk. Policymakers must protect manufacturers’ intellectual property rights and stop this government overreach.”

To view the latest television ad, click here.

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The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.75 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Input Stories

House Passes Bill That Would Rein in PBMs


The House passed a health care package on Monday that includes measures to curb some practices by pharmacy benefit managers, according to STAT News.

What’s going on: The Lower Costs, More Transparency Leadership Act, which passed on a bipartisan vote, “would equalize payment between hospital outpatient departments and doctors’ offices for administering medicines in Medicare, rein in some practices by pharmacy benefit managers and codify health care price transparency rules.” 

  • The vote on the measure was scheduled for September originally but was pushed back amid a larger funding dispute.

What it means: The package would prohibit PBMs from “spread pricing”—or charging Medicaid more than they pay pharmacies for medications.

  • It would also require PBMs, “clinical lab test providers, imaging providers [and] ambulatory surgical centers … to be more transparent about their pricing.”

What’s next: “Some community health advocates hope Monday’s vote will jump-start negotiations with the Senate, where leaders have signaled they’re looking for more than what’s in the House bill,” POLITICO reports.

Our view: “House passage of the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is a step forward for PBM transparency, but Congress must continue to advance reforms that ensure PBMs pass on prescription drug discounts directly to plan sponsors and patients as well as delink their compensation from the list price of drugs,” the NAM said on Tuesday.
 

Policy and Legal

Reform PBMs, NAM Tells Congress

Pharmacy benefit managers—companies that were first established to manage the cost of prescription drugs—are now driving up pharmaceutical prices for employers and patients, the NAM told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week.

What’s going on: While manufacturers remain committed to providing health benefits to their workers, PBMs are “[c]ontributing to the increasing costs of health care,” said NAM Vice President of Policy Chris Netram on Monday, ahead of the committee’s markup of 44 pieces of legislation.

  • These measures included the Protecting Patients Against PBM Abuses Act and the Medicare PBM Accountability Act.

Why it’s important: PBMs operate with a virtual monopoly, as just a few of them now control up to 89% of the prescription drug market, Netram continued.

  • PBMs operate with limited federal oversight and frequently steer business toward pharmacy networks owned by their parent firms.

What should be done: Congress should pass legislation aimed at changing the PBM model.

  • “The complex formulas and opaque business practices of PBMs must come to an end,” the NAM wrote in a social post Tuesday. “Congress must address PBM reform to increase transparency, ensure pharmaceutical savings are passed to the plan sponsor and patients and delink PBM compensation from the list price of drugs.”

In related news: CVS Health “will move away from the complex formulas used to set the prices of the prescription drugs it sells, shifting to a simpler model that could upend how American pharmacies are paid,” The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.

Input Stories

U.S., Others Release AI Safety Guidelines


The U.S. and 17 other countries have agreed to “a set of guidelines to ensure AI systems are built to ‘function as intended’ without leaking sensitive data to unauthorized users,” The Hill reports.

What’s going on: The 20-page document—unveiled last Sunday and published jointly by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the UK National Security Centre—enumerates recommendations for everything “from AI system design and development to its deployment and maintenance.”

  • The agreement discusses threats to AI systems, how to protect AI models and data and how to release and monitor AI systems responsibly.
  • Other signatories include Canada, Australia, Germany, Israel, Nigeria and Poland.

Why it’s important: “This is the first time that we have seen an affirmation that these capabilities should not just be about cool features and how quickly we can get them to market or how we can compete to drive down costs,” said U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly.
 

Press Releases

NAM: Rosalynn Carter Will Be Remembered for a Life of Service

Washington, D.C. National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter:

“Rosalynn Carter will be remembered for a life of service—to our country and our world and in particular those who were too easily overlooked. As a First Lady who helped redefine the role, she was a champion for mental health care. And in the more than four decades since her family left the White House and redefined the post-presidency, her leadership at the Carter Center promoted peace and advanced humanitarian causes, including saving lives by eradicating diseases and strengthening democracy through monitoring elections. In Plains, Georgia, she and President Carter, with their trademark warmth and kindness, continued setting an example for all with a partnership that prioritized family and faith. The National Association of Manufacturers extends our condolences to President Carter and to the entire Carter family.”

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The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.91 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 53% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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