August 2, 2021

USA: Day After Biden Took Office He Canceled Trump Discounts For Insulin And EpiPen For Americans As He Buys 500 Million Doses Of Pfizer Vaccine To Give Away Free To The Rest Of The World
written by Former Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), opinion contributor
Monday July 26, 2021

President Biden recently spearheaded an agreement among the G-7 nations to implement a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent. The agreement has received the support of 130 other countries including China, Russia, and India. Notably withholding their support are several major tax havens, including Ireland, Hungary, Peru, Kenya, Estonia, Cyprus, and others.

The agreement, if fully implemented, would reduce competition among the world's major economies and secure a tax funding base for financially strapped nations, particularly those in Europe, with bloated social spending budgets. President Biden says the agreement shows that "America's back." However, the agreement would surrender America's tax sovereignty to a coalition of nations who believe in high taxes and huge government spending. The tax is an essential part of President Biden's plan to greatly expand the role of the federal government in America's economy at a level not seen since World War II.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed in 2017 created economic growth in America that eclipsed the economies of most of the G-7 countries. This tax reform eliminated the minimum corporate tax and reduced the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent, incentivizing U.S. companies to invest here at home instead of overseas. The United States hung out an "Open for Business" sign which attracted billions of dollars of investment and generated explosive job growth not seen in decades.

President Biden and many Democrats in Congress are working vigorously to reverse this growth. Their support for a global minimum tax is one of at least 30 proposed tax increases on American families and businesses that will total around $2.975 trillion over the next 10 years. These tax increases include raising the top corporate tax rate to 28 percent, which, when state taxes are included, balloons to an average rate of 32 percent. This is significantly higher than the average corporate tax rate of most nations in Europe (23 percent) as well as China (25 percent).

The global minimum tax is also subject to significant manipulation by nations seeking to gain an edge through offsets and work arounds. China's state-controlled media already is calling for massive exemptions. Russia and India are likely to follow suit. Most significantly, many tax haven countries like Ireland who have seen their economies grow rapidly due to their low tax regimes are not expected to sign on to the minimum tax.

Treasury Secretary Yellen calls the current tax policies of China, Russia, India, Ireland, and other nations a "race to the bottom" to attract business at the expense of their budgets. Another term for this is competition, so it is easy to predict that that even if the global corporate tax agreement is ratified, many of these nations will find a way to undermine it to better compete.

President Biden's tax policies amount to a surrender in this race for business. He is not only pressing for the global minimum tax, but he is basing its implementation in the United States on book income rather than taxable income, further disadvantaging American companies over foreign workers and companies.

Should the Biden global minimum corporate tax go into effect, those losing most will be American consumers and workers. By eliminating competition, this tax, on top of his other tax increases, will make America even less competitive and drive jobs, manufacturing, innovation and investment overseas. It will encourage the flight of business to those nations, like Ireland, who do not sign on or to countries like China, who will effectively ignore the tax while making a show of agreeing to it.

The American economy is just beginning to emerge from the damage wreaked by the pandemic. We are also engaged in fierce competition with China, which is seeking to become the world leader in technology and other critical industries. Instead of restricting competition with a 15 percent global minimum tax that is nothing more than a gift to China, the United States should be pursuing low tax policies that welcome investment and will secure our nation's position as the leading economy in the world.
Half a Billion Pfizer Vaccines to the World’s Lowest-Income Nations
DATED: June 10, 2021

500 million life-saving vaccines to be delivered by June of next year,
including 200 million to be delivered by the end of 2021

Donation will serve as the foundation for a coordinated effort by the world’s democracies
to vaccinate people around the world

Today, President Biden will announce that the United States will purchase and donate half a billion Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and the African Union, an historic action that will help supercharge the global fight against the pandemic. This is the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from COVID-19. President Biden will also call on the world’s democracies to do their parts in contributing to the global supply of safe and effective vaccines. The goal of today’s donation is to save lives and end the pandemic and will provide the foundation for additional actions to be announced in the coming days.

Thanks to the success of our vaccination program, the United States is beating COVID-19 here at home. 64% of adult Americans have received at least one shot in just four and a half months, daily death rates are lower than at any point in the pandemic, and our economy is rebounding. Now, the United States is using the power of our democracy, the ingenuity of American scientists, and the strength of American manufacturing to beat the pandemic globally by helping to vaccinate the world.

Today’s historic announcement comes on the heels of President Biden’s donation of at least 80 million vaccines from the United States’ supply by the end of June. Additionally, the United States has contributed two billion dollars to COVAX, more than any other nation—and is supporting local production capacity abroad for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, including through the Quad initiative.

President Biden has been clear that borders cannot keep this pandemic at bay and has vowed that our nation will be the arsenal of vaccines. The historic step the President will announce today therefore protects the health of the American people and the people throughout the world who will benefit from these life-saving vaccines.

Specifically, the actions the President will announce today will:

PROVIDE A HALF BILLION PFIZER VACCINES TO LOW-INCOME NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD: Today, President Biden will announce that the U.S. government will purchase half a billion doses of Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines and donate to 92 low- and lower middle-income countries and economies as defined by Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and the African Union. The vaccines will start shipping in August 2021. 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year and the remaining 300 million will be delivered in the first half of 2022. The U.S. will allocate these doses to low and lower-middle income nations around the world, working through COVAX to deliver them.

GIVE LOWER INCOME NATIONS MORE ACCESS TO HIGHLY EFFECTIVE mRNA VACCINES: Today’s announcement will provide mRNA vaccines that have proven to be highly effective against COVID-19, including against all known variants. Tens of millions of Americans have benefited from these safe and effective vaccines and this historic donation will bring the life-saving benefits these vaccines provide to some of the most vulnerable populations around the world.

HARNESS THE POWER OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING TO HELP SAVE LIVES AROUND THE WORLD. Pfizer plans to produce these half a billion doses in the U.S. at their facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which employs more than 3,000 American workers; McPherson, Kansas, which employs almost 2,000 workers; Chesterfield, Missouri, and Andover, Massachusetts, which employ 700 and 1,800 workers. The American workers who produced vaccines to save American lives will now produce those same vaccines to save the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.
The Daily Wire
Biden Stops Trump Order To Slash Price Of Insulin, EpiPen
written by Amanda Prestigiacomo
Saturday January 23, 2021

President Joe Biden’s United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday stopped executive orders from his predecessor designed to significantly lower prescription drug prices for Americans, including insulin and epinephrine.

The new administration will apparently re-evaluate the executive action from President Donald Trump toward the end of March. It remains unclear if it will be reinstated.

“The HHS Thursday froze the former Trump administration’s December drug policy that requires community health centers to pass on all their insulin and epinephrine discount savings to patients,” Bloomberg Law reported Thursday. “Centers that don’t pass on the savings wouldn’t qualify for federal grants.”

“This freeze is part of the Biden administration’s large-scale effort announced this week that will scrutinize the Trump administration’s health policies,” the report noted. “If the previous administration’s policies raise ‘fact, law, or policy’ concerns, the Biden HHS will delay them and consult with the Office of Management and Budget about other actions.”

A report for Bloomberg Government said the Biden administration is on a “different page” about curbing drug prices than the Trump administration, noting of the Biden team awaiting “at least a dozen lawsuits … over Trump-era moves to lower drug prices”:
Biden enters the presidency with at least a dozen lawsuits waiting over Trump-era moves to lower drug prices, an issue the new administration will likely tackle in its own way. The Department of Health and Human Services under Biden inherits challenges to rules that tie drug reimbursement to cheaper foreign drug prices and allow medication imports from Canada. It also faces complaints over Trump’s push for drugmakers to ship discounted drugs bought by low-income health centers to commercial contract pharmacies.
Trump signed four executive orders in July that directed the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “[e]nd a shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen that lurks behind the high out-of-pocket costs many Americans face at the pharmacy counter,” the department announced at the time, noting that they would provide Americans more options on purchasing the drugs.

During the signing ceremony, Trump said the high price of insulin and EpiPens have cut off low-income people in “desperate” need of the treatments.

“The four orders I’m signing today will be on the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” said Trump, surrounded by health care professionals. “The first order will require federal community health centers to pass the giant discounts they received from drug companies on insulin and EpiPens directly to their patients. You know insulin became so expensive people weren’t able to use it. They desperately needed it.”

“We have it to a level that you’re not going to believe,” he continued. “EpiPens — likewise you have been hearing horrible stories about EpiPens over the last six or seven years, horrible, horrible, horrible increases for where they went to almost nothing to massive amounts of money. We’re changing that right now.”

“Under this order,” Trump added, “the price of insulin for affected patients will come down to just pennies a day, pennies a day from numbers that you weren’t even able to think about. It’s a massive cost savings.”

Trump said providers “should not be receiving discounts for themselves while charging their poorest patients massive full prices.”

Along with the order ending the “shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen,” another order would allow states, wholesalers, and pharmacies to offer “safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for the identical drug is incredibly lower,” Trump underscored.

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