TACOMA, Washington — The Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Price-gouging Act, also known as the MMAPPP Act, was introduced to the United States’ House of Representatives and the Senate on June 22, 2020, and August 5, 2020, respectively. Representatives Janice Schakowsky, Francis Rooney, Lloyd Doggett, Rosa DeLauro and Peter DeFazio led the charge in the House of Representatives, while Senators Tina Smith and Jeff Merkley introduced the bill in the Senate. The MMAPPP Act is critical to ensuring that everyone is provided access to COVID-19 solutions, regardless of socioeconomic status.
The Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Price-gouging Act
The MMAPPP Act is a bipartisan bill proposed to prevent price-gouging for treatments or vaccinations for COVD-19. Price-gouging, or increasing prices of essential goods to an unreasonable price, is common for products deemed a necessity, especially after a natural disaster. However, this bill works to protect taxpayer-funded COVID-19 vaccinations from being monopolized by pharmaceutical companies. If passed, affordable prices for medication, both on the homefront and globally, will be a requirement for the federal government.
The Importance of the MMAPPP Act
This act is critical to ending the global pandemic because it addresses the humanitarian issue that comes from price-gouging. The pandemic, as suggested in its name, is a global issue, and only focusing on the needs of the United States will not provide the long-term solutions needed. For the world to open back up again, everyone must be in cooperation, including the sharing of resources and information.
The World Health Organization, also known as the WHO, has reinforced the idea of sharing the vaccine, citing that not addressing the high-risk populations first, gives the world very little chance at returning to normal. Specifically, areas of extreme poverty in countries all around the world face high-risk challenges, including poor healthcare systems, a lack of resources such as masks and hand sanitizer, and inadequate living conditions. The MMAPPP Act is crucial to ensuring that people worldwide, especially those with low-to-no-income, can afford the vaccines as they are essential in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Why Should the United States Help Global Humanitarian Aid?
The affordability of this vaccine is essential to ensuring that people around the world can access it, and the question of sharing the vaccine has been contested throughout the months. However, if the United States wants to help itself, as well as its allies, sharing the vaccine will be a necessary step. Many experts have cited that a vaccine may not ensure long-term immunity, meaning that if not everyone can afford a vaccine, no one is truly safe from COVID-19. This includes affordability and access for people in poverty and low-income areas around the world.
The WHO has continually reinforced the idea that no single country can defeat the pandemic, and it is in all the countries’ best interest to collaborate to end this disease. If passed, the MMAPPP Act will further these actions.
How to Help Get the Bill Passed
The MMAPPP Act was recently introduced in both houses of Congress, and the easiest way to gain support from legislators is for the Congresspeople to know their constituents care about the issues, specifically this bill. Each time a constituent calls, emails or writes to the offices of their delegates, the issue is put onto a summary for each week. The more calls, emails and letters received, the higher the bill goes on the summary. When a senator or representative feels his or her constituents care strongly about a piece of legislation, they are more likely to support that bill. Furthermore, lobbying Congress, putting up flyers and encouraging others to write to Congress are great ways to draw attention to the MMAPPP Act.
The Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Price-gouging Act is a crucial step forward in changing how the pandemic crisis is solved. Vaccines are a necessary resource for making a difference, and the MMAPPP Act is an important aspect of ensuring equal access.