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Soma this, Soma that.. Presto, a Drug Bill!
USATODAY.com - Drug bill a well-financed victory for industry
This is too juicy. The basics are this: Prescription drugs are becoming too costly. There is building political pressure to do something about it. Some seniors are buying their drugs from Canada where they have price controls. Then people want price controls here, but the drug companies want to maintain their cash cow in the face of political pressure. So, they have spent a ton of money on their party (thats the republicans for those too daft to realize which party is in bed with the drug companies) to get a sweetheart deal that gets rid of some of the political pressure while at the same time protecting their overinflated prices.
Instead, both bills break the nation into 10 or more regions where private insurance companies would offer coverage for prescriptions. Rather than negotiating with the government, the pharmaceutical industry would deal with an array of insurers, each with thousands of clients, rather than millions. The extra costs would be paid by taxpayers and consumers.
Yes, divide and conquer. So in essence they strip out the bargaining power and gain new government spending that does nothing to threaten or question their near 20% profit margins.
A new drug benefit would pump about $400 billion in tax dollars into the health care system over 10 years. Analysts say insurance coverage would lead to increased use of prescription drugs by seniors, particularly those with lower incomes for whom cost is now a barrier.
The issue of drugs is a sticky one. Obviously when people proclaim that we need the benefits that the drugs off we admit that the drugs are beneficial to us. Those same drugs are the product of the phramaceutical companies that people deride for their callous drive for profit over sick people. But without the drugs the people would still be sick, right? The best compromise then would be to have a system where the drug companies will continue to do R&D to develop the drugs that we want but at teh same time providing a way to get those drugs into the hands of people. What could be more immoral than having a drug that can help someone and not letting that person have access to that drug? Maybe kicking a puppy...
What we needed was a good compromise coming out of both sides. What we got instead was the U.S. government saddling up to help pay for senior's drugs. It was a win-win deal for lawmakers and the drug makers. The politicians get the seniors off their backs for a while and the drug companies get a big fat drippy handout from the government. What we didnt get is any real solution to the root problem, and that is price gouging by the drug makers bringing the whole health care business to its knees.
For years, the drug industry fought an effort, mostly by Democrats, to create drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. Drug companies said it would resemble a huge buying cartel that could demand and receive rock-bottom prices. Government buyers such as the Veterans Administration and state-federal Medicaid programs get discounts of up to 40% from average wholesale prices.
That's right, in the face of market pressure the drug companies will lower the price of their drugs. Just like any other industry that doesn't demand a market bubble for its products. We wouldn't have gotten what we did except that some crazy canucks decided to provide cheap drugs to their citizens and some crazy yanks decided to use their brains to get what they needed. Oh Canada....
In 1999, the industry fought to kill a Democratic plan that would have given the government a central role in providing drug coverage for seniors. It sponsored TV ads featuring a character named Flo, who admonished fellow retirees not to allow "big government into your medicine cabinet."
What a suprise! Corporate interests using the same anti-government rhetoric espoused by the right wing propaganda media. You think there's a link? nah... couldn't be. You might have even been fooled into thinking that the right wing propaganda serves the purpose of building public opinion that conforms to corporate interests. Nah.. you would have been wrong there too! Corporate and financial interests are not the hand inside the glove of right wing mentality.
Its a happy coincidence. Now go back to sleep.
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