To help patients save money, Congress needs to tackle the middlemen in health care

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As a Republican-controlled House of Representatives with a small majority opens for business in January, one member has especially big ideas for saving patients money on prescription drug costs — and the research to back it up.

A year ago, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) released a comprehensive report on the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the nation’s healthcare system. The result does not make for pleasant reading. It is largely a tale of how greedy middlemen have taken advantage of existing legal loopholes and lax oversight to create an industry that raked in $28 billion in profits in 2019 — while providing no actual healthcare to patients.

Only in America can rent seekers dream of milking the system on a scale like this. Come January, Rep. Comer is likely to be wielding the gavel as Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, where he has been the ranking minority member since 2020. There, he will have a great opportunity to shape reforms that will save Americans real money on prescription drugs.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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