Americans pay more for their drugs than residents of any other country in the world. On average, the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is at least double what people in other countries pay for the same exact product and in some cases, it can be as much as 10 times more.
U.S. law protects drug companies from free-market competition, and Medicare is not allowed to negotiate prices. By law, it has to pay exactly what the drug companies charge for any drug. The same goes for other insurance companies who simply do not negotiate.
In contrast, governments in other countries put caps on the price of drugs and negotiate prices based on what the actual therapeutic benefit is. And Big Pharma still turns a healthy profit in other countries, despite costs being 40 percent lower than they are in the United States.
In the case of almost every other product sold on the free market, the older a product gets the less it costs. In the case of cancer drugs in America, the inverse is actually true. Novartis developed Gleevec, one of the most popular cancer drugs, in 2001 and sold it for $28,000 a year. By 2012, its cost rose to $92,000.Despite not being a novel treatment, Novartis is allowed to hike up the price every year in the United States.
America embraces a for-profit corporate business model of healthcare administration. Nearly every country in the rest of the world embraces varying degrees of socialized or nationalized medicine and offers ALL their citizens some form of ‘universal healthcare coverage’.
The for-profit, corporate healthcare model is a failure.
American History Lesson
While it is impossible to think that the framers of the U.S. Constitution could have envisioned modern day medical and surgical practice and the multitude sciences of healthcare, they nonetheless understood the importance of a healthy society – they went home each night to their families and certainly new the pain and fear of injury, disease and death.
The Preamble to the Constitution, one sentence, 52 words, is widely considered to represent the ‘spirit’ of the document. You will recognize some of these words:
“…form a more perfect Union…establish Justice…insure domestic Tranquility….promote the general Welfare….secure Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”
Now considering the words above, how do you think our nation would be served if every American, in every State, had guaranteed healthcare? Would our overall health and happiness improve? Does your view of the outcome that a guarantee of healthcare could bring, square with what you think the Founders would have thought?
Obamacare / ACA
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA, Obamacare, effective March 2010) was the result of battling House (supported by President Obama) and Senate (strong GOP support) versions, the Senate winning; lost from the final bill were well over a dozen potential paradigm shifting policy changes that would have had brought America a far more progressive healthcare system. What remained was: guaranteed issue (prohibit pre-existing), minimum policy standards, individual mandate (concept by conservative think tank Heritage Foundation 1989, supported by Gingrich and Hatch in congress 1993), health insurance exchanges, low income subsidies, Medicaid eligibility expanded, and reforms in the Medicare payment system.
The House Democrats abandoned their more comprehensive version of healthcare reform and embraced the most modest of beginnings of healthcare reform, today’s ACA, and in a shameful display of un-American, hyper partisan politics only one token Republican voted in favor of the bill as it left the House. Since that time the Republican Party has tried in earnest 6 times to repeal, and dozens of times to slow, hinder or impeded the implantation process. No common sense, bipartisan legislative efforts to substantially improve the law have been allowed to occur.
In selected Congressional campaigns Monstah PAC will seek to highlight the political positions between candidates on the issues of protecting the ACA and the continuing need for further progressive healthcare reform.