Monday, December 04, 2006
Turns out that this benefit only goes to those who pay premiums for dependents -- if you're a single person your premiums are 100% paid by the state already, so you get no "premium holiday."
Second, you heard that the big bad WalMart wants to make you buy your drugs for $4? Those meanies! You should pay $9!
Minnesota's statute was one of many written during the Depression to protect small retailers against competition from large chain stores, said William L. Sippel, a lawyer with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis. Modern courts would look at whether a retailer's low prices could drive competitors out of business and enable the retailer to recoup losses later with higher prices, Sippel said.What's stranger: That the law is written to help pharmacists at the expense of consumers in the 1930s -- while now being paid by health insurance in some cases, most people will have this amount fall in their co-pays -- or that the money WalMart and Target are forced to take in higher prices will not go to these small pharmacists? Imagine the following: You go to Target with your prescription and they charge you $4 for the drug plus a $5 tax to be paid to the pharmacist in North Soytown. Would you scream injustice? Now suppose you go to Target with your prescription and they charge you $9, going all to them. Who do you scream at now? The only reason they never do the first is because you would complain -- if you wouldn't, they would gladly have the money go to the local pharmacist rather than Arkansas-based WalMart.
Tim Gallagher, president-elect of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, said small drug stores need such a shield to prevent them from being driven out of rural areas -- something he said would hurt competition in the long run.