Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The hell? 

I have a friend who says that when he is indicating confusion. Reading Larry Schumacher's description, I'm having one of those moments:
�We need to stop letting the drug companies write health care and drug laws in Washington and start letting Medicare negotiate with them for better deals like the Veterans Administration does,� she said. �We need to be following the North Star, not the Lone Star, to get ahead.�
I have no idea what that means. But if it means that we should emulate the Minnesota plan to buy drugs from Canada, Klobuchar misses the point entirely; Minnesota is not the USA, and its effect on prices and profits for the pharmaceutical industry is nothing. As Michael Fumento notes, Medicare isn't just the 800-pound gorilla, it belches 800-pound gorillas after a mid-afternoon snack. He quotes USC economics professor Joel Hay:
Consider that the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] now buys 50 percent of all vaccines and pays less than half the private market prices. Since that happened, the number of American vaccine manufacturers has dropped from 25 to four.
Is that the Klobuchar plan, to use Part D to bring socialized medicine through the back door? That would be my vision of the hell.

The Republicans passed a bad plan in Part D, but the Democrats plan then, and now, would be worse.