Uncategorized

POLICY/POLITICS/PHARMA: PhRMA sends the D out on the field

Even thought the White House will likely veto any change to Part D, the WSJ has started playing desperate defense on behalf of PhRMA.

Apparently if we impose government price controls, it’ll cripple R&D and no new drug will ever be developed. On the other hand, they also trot out the “fact” that Part D as constructed now means that the private sector has the ability to lower prices below those that the government could get. Of course we’ve heard all this before, and we all know who wrote Part D and in whose interests it was written.

But what I wonder is how can the WSJ’s Jane Zhang hold those two contradictory thoughts in her head without smoke coming out of her ears?

Meanwhile, here’s the NY Times on big Pharma’s attempts to buy its way out of the problem. It’ll certainly make some former Democratic staffers much richer!

Livongo’s Post Ad Banner 728*90

30
Leave a Reply

30 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
ToddGreg PawelskiJack E's in LoveJack O LanternJack E. Lohman Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Todd
Guest
Todd

As a current employee of a small PBM that is able to act nimbly, attack the big three for their indiscretions, and acquire new business because of it, I see our market still working, albeit imperfectly. We are the future of the PBM market. Full transparency and pass-through of ALL information to our clients. We simply charge transaction fees for all services. We believe that we provide a valuable service that most employers do not wish to try to even start comprehending. We have the luxury of not having the operational cost burden that the big guys have after years… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

My suggestion, Jim, is that your wife consider becoming a VA physician. They are salaried and enjoy the highest patient satisfaction, even over the private system. She is not going to like the direction the corporations are going to force the system (to managed-care-for-all). Physicians would be far better off with an exclusive Medicare-for-all system that treats physicians fairly. Admittedly, that’s not always the case now, but if it were an exclusive single-payer system that would change. It would have to.

Greg Pawelski
Guest
Greg Pawelski
Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

Such righteous arrogance. And anonymous to. Great to have you join us.
And PS: I have done my research, I do read my posts, I stand by every one of them, and I sign my real name.

Jack E's in Love
Guest
Jack E's in Love

More of Jack E’s greatest hits: “For all the things that are apparently wrong with single-payer plans, I am terribly surprised that over 80% of Canadians prefer their system to ours.” First of all, great sarcasm. But could you have cited a more absurd poll? I bet 100 percent of those 80 percent have never lived in the U.S. and have no idea what our system is like. And depending on how the pollster worded the underlying question, I might not be “terribly surprised” that Canadians prefer their system — after all, if the pollster said that Americans are dying… Read more »

Jack O Lantern
Guest
Jack O Lantern

There’s something about Jack:
“But every time Medicare tries to do that (cut payments) the medical and hospital associations run to their congressman for help. I know, because I’ve done it myself (though legitimately trying to save a valuable procedure).”
Did you blink at all when you typed that? That’s right, everyone else is running to Congress to save overpayment for their illegitimate procedures, except you. Yours is the only one worth saving.
Self-awareness — try it sometime.

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

Any one of those countries would be better than what we have, Barry. France is listed as the best according the WHO. CMS already does consider cost with its national fees schedule which, I might add, is not all that bad. The problem with both Medicare and private insurers is that neither does a good job monitoring over-ordering by physicians. But I believe the national EMR database will help highlight the abusers. But I disagree that they are a big dumb payer. I’ve seen far more abuses under the private payer system because the penalties for abuse are almost nonexistent.… Read more »

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Jack, Believe it or not, I agree that we will probably transition to a taxpayer funded healthcare system sometime in the next 4-10 years, though I think it is more likely to resemble the system in France, Germany, Switzerland, etc. and not the one in the UK or Canada. I think the following factors will drive us in that direction: 1. The corporate sector will seek relief from a very large cost item that grows persistently faster than all of its other costs and the price of its own products. 2. Workers will see their wages grow no faster and… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

So it seems that GMs’ moving north will not eliminate the two-thirds of health care costs that are retirees. So why are they moving to Canada?
For all the things that are apparently wrong with single-payer plans, I am terribly surprised that over 80% of Canadians prefer their system to ours. In time, and it may yet take ten years, we will have a single-payer system. All of the hypothesizing aside, I think those in opposition today will come around to believing that simple is better and all of this posturing is for naught.

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Jack, Approximately two-thirds of GM’s current healthcare bill is attributable to retirees, not active workers. For Ford, it may be slightly less but not much. Very few companies offer employer paid healthcare to retirees, and most that used to discontinued it or sharply increased the cost to the retiree. Value added benefits provided by insurers now include disease management and prevention programs and new transparency tools that help insureds identify the most cost-effective providers including imaging centers and hospitals. I don’t see Medicare doing much in either of these areas. If employers were suddenly relived of the burden of paying… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

Having spent 25 years in the health care field, I do indeed believe that insurers only add cost and complexity that consumes resources. Insurers add no value over the services Medicare administrators already provide, and probably less so because they have to coddle their customers. Having dealt with Medicare for 28 years (the last three as a patient) I see the wisdom of leaving one payor per state in charge, rather than having to support the employees of 450 insurers in my state alone. You and I will obviously never come to agreement on that. >>> “most respected economists will… Read more »

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Jack, I think the fundamental disagreement I have with you (and probably Peter) is that you don’t think insurers add any value, and I do. I see Medicare as basically a big dumb payer, and you think it can do a splendid job of controlling costs, perhaps, with help from a Board modeled after the Federal Reserve. As for the burden on employers, while most of the cost of premiums for employee healthcare may flow through the employer’s bank account, most respected economists will tell you that the employee is actually paying for healthcare in the form of lower wages… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

Employers, at least those who have not stopped providing insurance, and the wealthier among us, could certainly afford that kind of insurance. But the lower end finds it necessary to spend their money on food and clothing for their families. But Barry, we keep coming back to this same thing: How can we improve the system while keeping the for-profit insurance industry in the loop. That’s where you and I will always disagree. We don’t need them to make this system serve the public appropriately. All they do is drain resources. Here’s a summary of what I believe will get… Read more »

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Jack, My suggestion of a taxpayer funded catastrophic coverage tier to cover costs above $50K would work in conjunction with employer and/or individually purchased insurance to cover costs between a reasonable deductible and $50K. The top half of the income distribution could afford to buy high deductible plans while the lower half could receive more comprehensive coverage at far lower cost to employers and individuals than under the current system. The catastrophic coverage tier (for those not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid) could be funded by the combination of a payroll tax (with a reasonable cap) and the elimination of… Read more »

Jack E. Lohman
Guest
Jack E. Lohman

Barry, Medicare D is the exact opposite of what you’d see in a single-payer system whether they negotiate or not. Congress took a very simple system and reworked it so the health care corporations could participate where they were not previously participating, and gave the pharmaceutical industry a $780 billion gift in the process. >>> “It should go one step further and establish its own stand alone drug plan in competition with all the private plans.” What? Have the government compete with the free market? You know what Eric would say about that! The truth is if they did that… Read more »