Pelosi proposes drug plan to save $345 billion over the next 10 years in drug costs

Sand Bar Bill

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That saving is an official estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

Politics question: If a Democrat comes up with a plan to lessen costs while maintaining the same service... will a Republican support it? No. No Democratic proposal shall ever be allowed to go forward, particularly if it is helpful the general population and therefore puts the Democrats in a good light. I may also comment that the R's seem to be a lot more in the pocket of big pharma than the D's.

https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-10/hr3ltr.pdf

Here is the basic policy for all you policy wonks:

Title I of H.R. 3 would require manufacturers of certain prescription drugs to negotiate prices with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Prices for those drugs could not exceed 120 percent of the average price in certain other countries. Other provisions also would affect prices for drugs, including limits on prices of drugs for which international prices are not available. If manufacturers did not enter into negotiations or agree to prices by specified dates or if they did not meet other conditions, they would be subject to an excise tax of up to 95 percent of the sales of those drugs.
 

zgrose

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paragraphs 2 and 3 on page 2 seem to be very real issues to me.
It's always seemed to me, from the outside, that high volume, low margin drugs (i.e. the stuff we need the most) are being dropped for high margin, low volume drugs (i.e. treatments for diseases that are rare) and the decrease in supply drives and increase in price with the benefits usually going to the middle man. This policy would seem to make that situation worse as drug prices would rise across the board to offset the lost revenue.

With large pharma corporations essentially running as government protected monopolies for the ~10 active years of a drug patent, I wonder if it would be as cost-effective and "more American" to simply cut the patent lengths and drop other government barriers to market access.
 

Chas

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I think there are too many politicians on both sides that benefit $$ from the current situation. I suspect both sides will pay lip service to wanting to fix this and help people, but sadly, I doubt either side will end up doing anything meaningful.
 

Brian W

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I notice whenever a republican gets caught doing something wrong and cannot get out of it, their next defense is "everyone does it". Deep down in every republican is the belief that someone is screwing them over, and they'd better screw someone over themselves to even the scales up. Grifters feed on that greed to spot easy marks.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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On related healthcare news, something positive with Obamacare (too bad the Republicans fight it so hard):

“Premiums for key plans sold on HealthCare.gov will drop by 4% on average next year, with several states seeing double-digit declines,” Politico reports.

“This marks the second straight year that the so-called benchmark premium has dropped and is a further sign that the Obamacare insurance marketplaces are stabilizing, even as the administration supports a lawsuit that could destroy the health care law.”

https://politicalwire.com/2019/10/22/obamacare-premiums-drop-again/
 

zgrose

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This looks like a good step forward on disrupting our broken health care models.


A functioning market should have informed consumers.
 

Sand Bar Bill

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This looks like a good step forward on disrupting our broken health care models.


A functioning market should have informed consumers.
It's a small step, Although if you are in an emergency, you aren't going to shop around. And also at issue is how much choice you have in any given market or if people will shop around at all.

It is a small band-aid on a large problem, but it is a small step.

But unless human life is viewed as disposable, the free market is not a complete solution for health care. Many cannot afford healthcare in the first place. And that is where the silence of the free market vis-à-vis humanity becomes deafening.
 
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zgrose

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But unless you view human life as disposable, the free market is not a solution for health care.
It "works" for food. Food is required for life. It "works" for shelter and clothing. Both of those are needed to survive.

Exposing the graft and price fixing in the system is something I think you're undervaluing as a means to drive costs and prices down.
 

Brian W

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The problem with medicine is that everyone gets sick, unlike people starving or homeless--they deserve it for being inferior to rich people.
 

zgrose

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Looks like there is some negotiating on The Hill with respect to the length of patent protections for biologics in the USMCA treaty.
 
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