Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama Presidency Could Bring Cheaper Medicines, Universal Coverage


One of the things that bothered me most during the Bush administration was the treatment of Medicare in the new Medicare program. I was shocked when I learned the legislation that passed would not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Both the Veterans Administration and Medicaid are negotiating prescription drug prices and buying drugs at lower prices than Medicare. This is clearly a "sham" and one of the best examples of how politicians get in the pocket of special interest groups. Not allowing the largest purchaser of prescription drugs to negotiate is nonsensical.

Other key issues include the importation of drugs and a single payer health care system.

This will be one of the most challenging and difficult issues that our new President will face. It will certainly be a good indication if he in fact can bring change and fight for the rights of all Americans. 

At a time when the Federal Budget deficit is soaring it is paramount that our hard earned tax dollars get spent wisely and fairly.


Obama Presidency Could Bring Cheaper Medicines, Universal Coverage
Posted By Scott Hensley

Some of Big Pharma’s worst fears could become reality under the Obama administration, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Changes to look for: legalization of the importation of cheaper prescription medicines, legislation clearing the way for generic versions of biotech drugs and direct price negotiations between Medicare and drugmakers.

The Bush administration has stymied some of those changes so far. But the Obama team is expected to be more supportive. Industry is digging in. PhRMA’s Ken Johnson told the the Tribune, “Clearly, we are getting prepared for anything and everything next year.”

The Los Angeles Times lays out the case for bold government action under Obama to bring universal health coverage to fruition.

A consensus in support of change is emerging among businesses, hospitals, doctors, labor unions and insurers and folks inside the Beltway. While there’s no clear view yet of the specifics on the health front, a few ideas are pretty much off the table, the LAT writes. Those include a government-run single-payer health care system on the left and, on the right, a system rebuilt largely through tax incentives to individuals for purchasing insurance on their own.

But don’t get your hopes up, reformers. It’s easy to agree on principles of change and then see the good cheer disappear when it’s time to make something happen. “Once you get into the details, the consensus is going to vanish pretty quickly, I suspect,” Stuart Butler, VP for domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told the LAT.

Article printed from Health Blog: http://blogs.wsj.com/health



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