Drug Deals Not a Good Idea
It seems alarmingly premature for government to be striking deals with drug companies about what they are willing to contribute to health-care reform. Truthfully, through discounts over the next 10 years, they are simply providing relief for a problem that should be eliminated through innovation and negotiation. I can't help but think about the late night call I received from a woman who was in tears about the $1,800 prescription cost for her husband who was in the doughnut hole of his Medicare. He required these drugs after surgery to remove infected bone from a diabetic wound in his foot. Her doctor tried to help by finding a less costly and far inferior drug for him to take in the interim.
These discounts may have benefited this couple, but what about all the other Americans who will suffer the impact of absorbing the costs? Perhaps a more prudent move by the government would have been to wait for a better deal that would benefit all Americans once a more concrete health insurance plan was in place. This move simply guarantees that drug companies can limit regulation and have a voice in health-care reform. Compromising with big business about any facet of health care will in no way reduce costs in the final assessment.
More sobering is the thought that government instead of leading drug cost reform has given the reigns to a runaway horse.
June 23, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
Health Care Reform
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