New healthcare bill to negatively affect drugmakers: Moody's

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has described the bill as “market-based” and “patient-centered.”

The bill seeking to replace the Affordable Care Act is expected to have a negative impact on drugmakers, which gained millions of new customers under President Obama's healthcare reform initiative, according to credit-ratings agency Moody's Investors Service.

If the American Health Care Act is passed into law, the number of uninsured Americans is expected to skyrocket over the next 10 years, from 28 million to an estimated 52 million by 2026, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. The bill is projected to reduce federal deficits by $337 billion during the same time period.  

See also: Trump administration raises questions for rare-disease drugmakers

“An increase in the number of uninsured would lead to a reduction in demand for healthcare,” Moody's analysts wrote in the March 17 report.

Uninsured adults were three times as likely as individuals enrolled in private health plans to skip or postpone taking a needed prescription drug in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

See also: Infographic: How Trump will affect healthcare marketing budgets

The bill has one bright spot for drugmakers: It would repeal taxes placed on the pharmaceutical and medical-device industries. Drugmakers currently pay about $2.7 billion per year. Still, the increase in the number of uninsured Americans, combined with caps on federal Medicaid spending, would likely limit the commercial reach of pharma companies.

Republican members of the House of Representatives in March introduced the bill, which seeks to replace elements of the Affordable Care Act often criticized by conservative lawmakers, earlier this month. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has described the bill as “market-based” and “patient-centered.”

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