An Open Letter to the West Virginia State Senate: Defeat H.B. 2852

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 350,000 members -- including 1,800 in West Virginia -- of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to vote against H.B. 2852. We believe that this is a bad bill which has been made only worse via amendment.

As originally written, this bill sought to address West Virginians' concerns about prescription drug prices by creating more bureaucracy in Charleston. But hiring government bureaucrats certainly will not help to lower costs in our health care system. If more government (in Charleston or Washington, DC) were a solution to rising health care costs, this problem would have been solved many years -- and trillions of dollars -- ago. All this bill will do is keep West Virginians' taxes higher than they need to be.

This bad idea has been made worse in the House with the addition of provisions that would allow for penalties on any company that decides it cannot afford to sell its products at the price deemed appropriate by the state. In other words, the bill gets the government into the business of setting prices. Economists across the ideological spectrum have continually found that price controls are bad policy. Furthermore, these provisions completely fly in the face of the spirit of free enterprise, a cornerstone of our nation since its founding.

H.B. 2852 means more bureaucracy, price controls, and an erosion of free enterprise. Clearly, H.B. 2852 should be defeated.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact NTU.


John Berthoud