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WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi sent Democratic House members home for summer recess with a three-point plan to “own August”: talk about the economy, talk about President Trump, and talk about health care costs — specifically, exorbitant prescription drug prices facing Americans.

It’s easy to see why drug pricing gets such prominent billing. Polls have consistently shown that voters hold a decidedly negative view of pharmaceutical companies, that they trust Democrats more on health care, and that they believe high drug costs should be a top priority on Capitol Hill.


And already, candidates are introducing bills and commissioning studies on the issue, spurred by town halls that feature constituent after constituent demanding action to bring down the bills they face at the pharmacy counter. The bills, the studies, the best town hall sound bites — all get cut into television ads that tout a given candidate’s work.

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  • The US subsidizes the world’s healthcare as we pay inflated prices that support R&D. EU and Canada pay a fraction of what the US pays. Why? Because the higher the price the more money companies make. Implement reference pricing like EU countries have and watch the prices fall.
    Large Pharma and the US Government has wasted $Trillions on ideas that are nothing but long shots while most breakthroughs come from Universities (largely funded by Federal Programs).
    The system is built to take money from the taxpayers. Isn’t CRISPR mostly overhyped to make insiders and VCs rich.
    Martin Shkreli, and most large Pharma CEOs were saying the same things!

    • Our “Government” has been taken over by industry insiders. It is no longer “our government” the current administration merely weaponized the influence the profiteers. The mass media which is owned by the same billionaires, is effectively censoring the facts. Most Democrats are treadling lightly, they are either misinformed, bough off, or afraid to challenge Big Pharma. They don’t even ask what the facts are, they choose the facts supplied by the industries.
      If people actually had all of the facts they would be terrified! The Media and outlets like this are not giving the full picture. The healthcare system in this country could be described as Genocidal.

  • We from outside the United States watch with bemusement and amazement at healthcare in general and pharmaceutical prices specifically and wonder how a nation who put a “Man on the Moon” in the late 1960s can’t get the “Pill on the Palm” even in 2018. The system is so broken (with the Pharma merrily denouncing Pharmacy Benefit Managers while both laugh all the way to the bank) that it really does not deserve to survive.

    Perhaps the time for “Creative Destruction” and maybe have a Single Payer System. Complicated? Not really, all the countries in Western Europe have it (they are all democracies) and even North Korea has it.

    It would be laughable except for the people that have to suffer – does freedom of choice, free market come before basics?

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    • Maybe you should ask yourself why it was America who put a man on the moon. Also, ask yourself why it is America who had to help the rest of the world win not one but two world wars. And why is it America the rest of the world turns to for leadership during a crisis? The difference in America is it used to allow individualization. It didn’t used to be the responsibility of the US government to step into the lives of it’s citizens in issues such as healthcare. And I think this idea of letting people take care of themselves and not to rely on others is a good thing. It didn’t raise a bunch of whiners to take care of in a nanny state

    • American media created a blind spot, they replaced factual information with scare stories about “Socialized Medicine.” The number of dead Americans, who died due to lack of health insurance, is censored here in the Land of Liberty. They present healthcare as a choice, or a “Free Market.” The number of injured people who can’t work anymore because they could not get healthcare access is also censored. Advertising replaced healthcare facts.

      Venture Capitalists are funding biased “research” into ‘Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.” Even “Wellness” has been weaponized, used to stigmatize low income people, who can’t afford healthcare, or a day off from work. The number of injuries and deaths, due to Alternative Medicine are not counted. They don’t count how postponing actual healthcare with CAM, can be deadly. They only advertise the “Benefits.”
      The so called “opiate epidemic” or the number of women dying in childbirth, should have been a wake up call, but the media re-framed it all. They came up with counter stories blaming the victims. In the US the number of women who experience adverse events in childbirth is censored, replaced with “faith based” nonsense and advertising.

    • Answering to Lee

      Is it the individual who is responsible for his/her healthcare after being injured in the 2 wars that America helped mightily to win? Or the whinnies in Congress who have the best health insurance? Why not strip health insurance from those serving in Congress and see how they do?

      Health care is far too complex for individuals to deal with and needs government involvement. Just like education available to those who have the brains and not the money (society will then benefit the most). Oops – education also responsibility of the individual? What a pathetic government.

  • Here is a “plan”:

    1) Activate / Support the “Direct Primary Care” (DPC) provisions of the ACA whereby primary care physicians can provide value for cost to patients that includes: community-focused care, preventive care, acute care, chronic care, palliative care, gynecological care, integrated care (including mental health care & same day evaluation) with discounted (to greatly discounted) lab testing, imaging, ambulatory surgery, urgent care, drug dispensation (via wholesale suppliers like Andameds)….etc.
    2) Support wholesale drug suppliers like Andameds having national negotiated TRANSPARENT pricing without middlemen profiteering (as Pharmacy “benefit” Manager) and with both direct physician AND COMMUNITY PHARMACIST involvement in the dispensation AND patient education components of taking BOTH prescription and OTC medications that includes guaranteeing that a carcinogen will not contaminate drugs such as valsartan, that USA suppliers will be preferred, that 3D CAM printers will produce (under close scrutiny) generic medications on demand, especially in the hinterlands AND that PHYSICIANS, COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS & TELE-Nurses will work together to assure the best proven outcomes possible at the lowest possible cost WITH a GOAL of keeping as much money as possible spent by community members subscribing to DPC IN THE COMMUNITY as opposed to landing in the filthy lucre pockets of an out of state Pharmacy “benefit” Manager, Drug Supplier or even Manufacturer outsourcing production to China so carcinogens can be mixed with meds as in the current system of ceding ALL production to China.
    3) Support “wrap around” catastrophic health care insurance (as also specified in the ACA) from a MUTUAL health insurance company whereby health insurance policy holders are de facto stock holders in the MUTUAL company with OVERALL financing via progressively financed (FROM BIRTH) HSA’s connected to an HSA-investment Bank that securely invests HSA funds so that there can be tax free in and tax free out vesting of funds for health care (with a COMMUNITY FOCUS), education (including health care literacy) and pension funds with wellness incentives built in to help build up personal and family wealth rather than face bankruptcy from medical expenses as is the current trend.
    4) Support networked DPC and DSC (Direct Specialty Care) that can do Comparative Effectiveness Studies so that there is the opportunity to actually finance innovative care while striving for continuous quality improvement, cost-beneficial care AND the community training of Clinical Medical Assistants, Pharmacy Technicians, Community Health Workers, Comparative Effectiveness & Continuity of Care Facilitators, Psychiatric Social Worker Apprentices and Mesh-networking of HIT and local OFF THE GRID energy production and distribution SPECIALISTS, thereby guaranteeing even more health care money spent by community members STAYS in THE COMMUNITY even while PHARMA get greatly reduced costs for getting FDA certification.

    • The system is too corrupt to “Advocate.” We can see what they did with the ACA. They allowed every industry with a profit motive to render it almost useless. The democrats framed any critique of the ACA, as right wing nonsense. They are still in paid denial, since they took money from the benefactors of the ACA.
      In my state the republican governor did everything she could to undermine healthcare, education, and social services. Our Democrats stood idly by, and only responded to nonsense the media created. They took money from Religious Hospitals who were deliberately undermining women’s healthcare, along with covering up corruption, greed and bad outcomes. The local ‘Newspapers” act as Public Relations outlets for our expensive and bad healthcare providers.
      One of our Democrats took many and acted as a consultant for the Insurance companies. They re-framed this as if she was”helping” her constituents. Our Democrats are so corrupted that they refuse to discuss Healthcare For All. They came out with a “Medicaid Buy In.” In our state Medicaid is not really about providing healthcare, it is about money and jobs. They shifted most Medicaid recipients to low income non profit clinics, with limited resources. They did a cost benefit analysis, and Specialists and even Physicians are not really necessary. They replaced Doctors with Physicians Assistants or Nurse Practitioners. A patient on Medicaid can wait years to see a specialists, and it is not that much better for people with good insurance.
      The healthcare providers, insurance companies and big pharma come first, and patients are a secondary consideration. They keep touting the fact that due to the ACA more people have insurance. Healthcare outcomes are still bad, suicide and drug addiction rates are climbing. Half of the deaths attributed to the “Opiate Epidemic” were sick people over 50. In our state suicide is under-counted. Our Democrats are in denial since they not only took money from the Healthcare Industry, they continue to ignore issues with healthcare.
      Right now they are pretty complacent, believing their votes are assured in spite of the corruption. After all look at the destructive insane forces on the other side. They have failed their constituents utterly. just looking at their half hearted response to the racist, greed mongering, nightmare rolling across our country. They are benefiting too, and they took money from the same sources the republicans did.

  • We have already seen the Republican “Plan.” That was to put even more industry insiders on our boards to Gaslight the public. The Democrats are still in denial over how Medicare for All, would fix this overnight. The Democrats took money from the same Industry ghouls who paid the Republicans. The very same ghouls that hide behind industry created data gaps, and promote Alternate Facts.

    • Another sarcastic comment, though Medicare and Medicaid now do not resemble each other. Most people have a really misinformed idea about how any of it works. Medicaid already has 50 different programs in 50 different states. In many states the reimbursements are so small, there is no incentive for any Physicians to provide care. A lot of the money is dedicated to buying over priced Pharma products, and making local politicians appear to have created jobs.

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