I just read an article suggesting that “one of Hillary Clinton's first major policy proposals is to curb the price of prescription drugs”.
This woodchuck whistles!
Hillary Clinton’s plan for lowering prescription drug costs is not anything new or revolutionary; it is just a fresh spin on old rhetoric.
“Hillary Clinton believes we need to promote competition and leverage our nation’s bargaining power to lower drug costs on behalf of Americans.”
There you have it, an appeal to romantic capitalistic expressions that makes this woodchuck put his little woodchuck paw on his little woodchuck heart and squeeze out little woodchuck tears.
“Hillary Clinton believes that we need to hold drug companies accountable to lower drug costs for Americans. And this isn’t a new fight for her. She fought against special interests for affordable health coverage in the 1990s and as a Senator. In her 2008 campaign, she called for allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to reduce prices and rein in costs. She’s been committed to this fight throughout her career, and is continuing it today.”
Tough words that mean absolutely nothing! What is her plan?
“Her plan will demand a stop to excessive profiteering and marketing by denying tax breaks for direct-to-consumer advertising and demanding that drug companies invest in R&D in exchange for taxpayer support – rather than marketing or excessive profits. She will encourage competition to get more generics on the market and create a Federal backstop for when there are excessively high-priced drugs that face no competition. And for Americans struggling with prescription drug cost burdens, she will cap what insurers can charge consumers in out-of-pocket costs, putting money back in the family wallet.”
If you want to understand a message, always start at the end and work your way to the beginning.
“She will cap what insurers can charge consumers in out-of-pocket costs.”
This does absolutely nothing to reduce the price paid for pharmaceuticals. The focus is on “out-of-pocket costs” to the final consumer. There will be a price to be paid for this and it will be reflected in higher insurance premiums and probably in higher tax subsidies to help low income families pay those higher insurance premiums.
“She will encourage competition to get more generics on the market and create a Federal backstop for when there are excessively high-priced drugs that face no competition.”
The rhetoric crosses a woodchuck’s eyes.
Who doesn’t know that there are already motivations in place to encourage insured people to take advantage of generic drugs when they are available? Who doesn’t know that there are already requirements for insurance to pay more when generic drugs are not available? Will she propose amending patents to make more drugs generic? And what is “a Federal backstop”?
All rhetoric, nothing new!
“Her plan will demand a stop to excessive profiteering and marketing by denying tax breaks for direct-to-consumer advertising and demanding that drug companies invest in R&D in exchange for taxpayer support – rather than marketing or excessive profits.”
Is there any way to guess what all of these words mean? Woodchuck’s get dizzy and fall over trying to understand it all.
Direct-to-consumer advertising is just television commercial, those annoying pop-up ads on the Internet and advertisements in magazines that suggest you “talk to your doctor” about their brand name of medication.
Do pharmaceutical companies actually get “tax breaks” for advertising? Or is this something that falls into the category of “expenses” which offset costs and are not “tax breaks”. Is she suggesting that we make it illegal to advertise?
All of the attention is now on price gouging by a company called Retrophin which sells a drug called Daraprim, which is the brand name of pyrimethamine, a drug used to prevent malaria and treat toxoplasmosis.
Have any of you ever seen any advertisement for Daraprim? No? And you didn't rush to doctor and ask for Daraprim by name? Maybe this isn't the problem?
We have been hearing this rhetoric for decades now and nothing has changed except that drug continue to be outrageously expensive and pharmaceutical companies continue to earn outrageous profits.
Let’s return to the offensive article that suggested Hillary has a proposal to curb the price of prescription drugs.
The article begins by sharing a graphic of other countries where the prescription drug Celebrex is less expensive than it is here in the
United States. What all of these
countries have in common is national, single-payer health insurance. This is
nothing like the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
The Affordable Care Act subsidizes the high cost of healthcare to reduce the out-of-pocket costs experiences by insured people by lining the pockets of insurance companies with tax subsidized insurance premiums. The high costs and the high profits are still there but they are less visible.
National Single Payer is a plan that reduces the obscene cost the old fashioned way … it reduces the obscene profits being earned. It pays for healthcare directly and eliminates the for-profit insurance companies. It limits how much pharmaceutical companies can charge by limiting how much it will pay.
Democrats controlled both houses of Congress four of the six years that Hillary Clinton was a Senator. If Hillary and the Democrats wanted to reform the laws to curb the price of prescription drugs they had their chance.
Hillary and the Democrats want to talk but they don’t want to walk!
Bernie Sanders has consistently supported the one thing that we know reduces the cost of prescription drugs … National Single Payer Health Insurance.
So why do the people at Vox write about Hillary and fail to mention Bernie?
I have an answer, I think they want the prices to come down but they don’t want to do the things that will actually bring them down. I think they want to be “mainstream” and avoid being “extreme”. They are part of what they think is a great move to the center but it really a great move to the right.
This woodchuck whistles!
 Vox, After Obamacare, Democrats turn to prescription drug prices as health-care priority (Sep 22, 2015), http://www.vox.com/2015/9/22/9368489/clinton-drug-prices.
 Factsheets: Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Lowering Prescription Drug Costs, https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/factsheets/2015/09/21/hillary-clinton-plan-for-lowering-prescription-drug-costs/.