While the cost of medicine in the United States is extremely high and something does need to be done to lower prices, Sen. Kamala Harris’ assertion that she will snatch patents from medical companies that don’t follow her dictatorial orders is a frightening one.
At a campaign event in Iowa, Sen. Kamala Harris told the crowd that, if she is elected president, the government would lower drug prices to match average global prices for medicines. She then declared that she would seize patents from any pharmaceutical company that did not bow to her demands. When skeptical individuals in the crowd questioned whether this could actually be done, Sen. Harris stated “Yes, we can do that! I have the will to do it!”
There are some who would dismiss Sen. Harris’ most recent attempt to pander to the crowds as a desperate bid to remain relevant even as her campaign continues losing support. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the junior Senator from California seems to believe that a president should have near-dictatorial powers.
Sen. Harris may be a lawyer, but her fantasies about ruling via executive orders show that she doesn’t really care much for rule of law in the land. If Sen. Harris did manage to somehow win the Democrat nomination and then the presidency, one should rest assured that she will force drug manufacturing companies to comply with her wishes or face the irrevocable loss of their patents, which would then fall under the control of the Federal Government.
The California Democrat didn’t provide specific information about how she would steal drug company patents, but another Democrat presidential candidate did. Purportedly “moderate” Democrat South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has said that, if he becomes president, drug companies that “price egregiously” would be targeted by the federal government’s eminent domain laws. The “Affordable Medicine” plan on his campaign website states that “patents are a privilege,” and that he would “judiciously exercise government rights to take away patents” if pharmaceutical companies don’t lower prices after negotiations.
The idea of snatching patents from companies that don’t obey government demands should appall anyone who cares about fundamental property rights and a fundamentally free nation. Stealing drug company patents and turning them over to the federal government to manage is akin to what banana republic dictators do when they nationalize industries at will. The results are never pretty as government bureaucrats, unlike trained and skilled industry employees, don’t have the know-how to manage a complex industry.
A government that thinks it can swallow up patents won’t limit its powers just to one industry. There are plenty of companies and industries that don’t fall in line with far-left talking points. What would happen, for instance, if fossil fuel companies fail to obey future dictates concerning their industry? Would they lose their patents as well? Other possible targets could include airline companies, vehicle manufacturing companies, and even architects and engineers who won’t build “green” buildings.
A free nation is meant to have free enterprise. Put in simple terms, this means that companies that create and patent a product should be allowed to sell their products at a profit. There are plenty of ways to lower drug prices without expanding government power. The Trump administration is currently looking for ways to create more competition in the industry in order to lower prices. Additionally, requiring doctors to prescribe generic drugs instead of expensive brand-name ones would go a long way in helping to reduce medical costs.
Sadly, the truth is that Democrats care far more about dictatorial control than the rule of law.