Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

Verdict from the Health Care Summitt: No Chance of Compromise or Agreement

February 26, 2010

Having watched or listened to about half of today’s health care summit, one thing is painfully obvious:  there is no chance of compromise.  And there is a simple reason:  the two sides do not want the same thing.  It is one thing to compromise and give and take if the goal of two negotiating parties is the same.  But here, what Democrats want and what Republicans want is drastically different.  What you heard from Republicans is they want incremental change so that may be an additional 3 million people will get coverage.  The Democrats, on the other hand, have had enough with incremental change, and aim to cover more than 30 million people.  Since both parties do not want universal coverage or incremental change to bring down some people’s premium and give a few more people coverage, there is nothing really to compromise.  Given that the Republicans do not aim to cover most, if not all, of the uninsured, there is nothing that Democrats can given them.



Negotiating Lower Drug Prices

December 11, 2009

The Senate is currently debating an amendment that would allow for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada to the U.S.  The reason that this amendment is being pushed is that drugs prices are much lower in Canada than they are here.  There is a simple reason for that—the Canadian government negotiates directly with the drug companies to purchase drugs for the whole country (Canada has a single-payer health system where the Government provides health care for all citizens).  This is in contrast with individual insurance companies, pharmaceutical buying cooperatives and individuals here negotiating with the drug companies.  The Canadian government has much more leverage and buying power than do these individual groups, which leads to lower prices for Canadians.

But instead of simply allowing our Government to negotiate directly with the drug companies, our esteemed Senate thinks it is a better idea to just allow our citizens to reimport the drugs from Canada and other places.  Even leaving aside the health risks of reimporting drugs, there is simply no sound economic reason why we need this convoluted system to get cheaper drugs.  Furthermore, there is no reason why American citizens need to pay higher prices for drugs than the rest of the world.  Most other industrialized countries allow their governments to negotiate directly with drug companies.  Like the Canadians, this allows them to get lower prices than the US, which bans the practice.  Why should Americans have to subsidize lower prices around the world.  JUST ALLOW OUR GOVERNMENT TO NEGOTIATE BETTER PRICES.

Health Care: Co-Payments and the Internet

December 8, 2009

As the debate about health care reform has unfolded, at least one thing has emerged that almost everyone has agreed upon:  we are spending too much on health care.  Currently, we spend about 1 out every 6 dollars on health care or 16% of GDP.  On a per capita basis, we spend almost double what the next highest country spends.  And yet, on almost every important indicator from infant mortality to life expectancy to doctors per capita, we lag significantly behind most other OECD countries.  Therefore, it is certainly possible to get better outcomes while spending less money.