Political and Legal information on the Health Care Debate. View our freshly updated You Tube videos about health care on the right hand side of this blog. Includes ideas from politicians concerning Universal Health Care. Information on all things health insurance related from Medicare to short term health insurance.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Pharmacy lobbyists control Congress

If any of you watch 60 minutes, you would have seen an excellent piece concerning the high cost of prescription drugs in America. It is amazing to me that with all the "alarm" about the rising cost of health care, there is no mention of the huge profits prescription drug companies make as a part of that health care dollar. This piece discussed the passage of the medicare prescription drug bill that was "written by the lobbyists" and "rushed through".

The whole article here - 60 minutes piece "Under the Influence" by Steve Kroft

From the piece:

The unorthodox roll call on one of the most expensive bills ever placed before the House of Representatives began in the middle of the night, long after most people in Washington had switched off C-SPAN and gone to sleep.

The only witnesses were congressional staffers, hundreds of lobbyists, and U.S. Representatives like Dan Burton, R-Ill., and Walter Jones, R-N.C.

"The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill," says Jones. "The bill was over 1,000 pages. And it got to the members of the House that morning, and we voted for it at about 3 a.m. in the morning." Why did the vote finally take place at 3 a.m.? "Well, I think a lot of the shenanigans that were going on that night, they didn't want on national television in primetime," according to Burton. "I've been in politics for 22 years," says Jones, "and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years."

End of quote:

Any debate on Universal Health Care is going to have to go through these very powerful lobbyists. Cost is a major obstacle in the way of achieving affordable health care for everybody, and these lobbyists care about nothing except the money that the drug companies can make. The United States pays more for prescription drugs than any other country. It is even illegal to get the exact same drug at half price in Mexico or Canada. The VA is allowed to negotiate lower rates for prescription drugs, but the medicare prescription drug bill explicitly excludes the ability to negotiate for the best price on the prescription drugs.

If I don't pay for prescription drugs because I don't need any, I thank God for my health, but don't care as much about the cost of these drugs I won't take because of my healthy lifestyle. However, if there is universal health care paid for by my tax dollars, I want to make sure that the prescription drug companies are not taking the money out of my pocket at will for drugs that I don't take.

Why are there prescription drug commercials? What happened to the day when if you were ailing, you went to the doctor. If the doctor thinks a prescription drug can help cure you or ease the symptoms, the doctor writes a prescription. Why do we need TV commercials telling us what drugs to ask our doctor for before we are even diagnosed with anything? More cost, more waste of the health care dollar. If you get a chance, watch this 60 minutes piece. It is very eye opening.

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