Hi retrn and welcome. I feel like a broken record with my story, but....(long story short) After years of being treated for various pulmonary issues..asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, pulmonary hypertension, on and on...I was sent to National Jewish in Denver. They discovered that my simple little reflux was very,very severe; even though I was treating it with Protonix twice a day. When we returned I was sent to Cleveland Clinic for consult and in July I had a nissen with hernia repair and gall bladder removal.
The results have been nothing short of amazing, I have no more pulmonary issues at all, with the exception of the damage that is permanent from the reflux, I am so much better.
So yes, the reflux can definitely be the cause of your asthma or whatever pulmonary issue you may be having and if the new RA med is increasing the heartburn I would suggest trying a different PPI. Nexium for example, did nothing for me, I went through all 4 PPI's before sticking with Protonix; you may need to also change your pepcid to zantac or tagamet too.
Make sure you have a thorough pulmonary consult to make sure there is nothing else going on; if they're having difficulties diagnosing your condition because your FEV or other tests are inconclusive, yet you are symptomatic, ask about GERD induced asthma. If they don't know about it, find someone who does.