During my eight years as governor, we cut taxes, reduced burdensome regulations and cut nearly a third of state debt. And Florida businesses created nearly 1.7 million new jobs. That number represents families that now have an opportunity to succeed and have access to quality healthcare.
I’m focused on bringing this same approach to Washington. We have to keep our economy strong and pay down debt. We have to focus on creating jobs with good benefits, so every American can succeed. We have to look at our nation’s problems through this lens.
Beyond that, there are some commonsense things we can and should get done right now to start bringing down healthcare costs. Congress will never agree on everything, but we can and should all agree that a grand bargain almost never works. Look at the Affordable Care Act. That was a mistake we don’t need to make again. What we need to do is make real, incremental changes to create a more transparent, affordable healthcare system.
I’m working on several proposals that Congress can pass with bipartisan support right now to help Americans struggling to pay for healthcare.
To help reduce the burden of high drug prices, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and I have a proposal that would prohibit pharmaceutical companies that use federal tax dollars to develop their drugs from charging American consumers unreasonable prices for those same drugs.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and I are working to make sure pharmaceutical companies cannot charge Americans more than consumers in other industrialized countries for the same prescription drugs. The fact that they are getting away with this right now is unacceptable. American consumers are subsidizing the low-cost drugs in Canada, Europe and Japan. That’s crazy and it needs to end.
I’m also working to get rid of surprise medical bills that have devastated families across the country and to create a consumer-friendly database of prescription drug prices. It’s time to make healthcare more transparent and affordable.
These aren’t earth-shattering ideas. They are real, simple solutions to bring down healthcare costs right now. Of course, there are those, including the pharmaceutical industry, that are against any real change.
But we can’t accept that. I refuse to sit idly by while American families struggle to afford the life-saving care and prescription drugs that they need.
More commentaries from members of the 116th Congress on the state of healthcare