Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Earlier today, I published two pieces encouraging President Obama and Congress to abandon their efforts to pass all-encompassing healthcare legislation in favor of writing new law to address individual issues.* This third example is about protecting the right of Americans to purchase confirmed brand name pharmaceuticals from Canada – and other countries, for that matter.
Earlier this month, President Obama made a behind-closed-doors deal with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America which promised to discourage the importing of their products from Canada, among other considerations, in return for their support of his legislation.** That was a mistake by President Obama for several reasons, not the least of which is that it discouraged competition at the expensive of the American people.
That pharmaceutical manufacturers would sell our Canadian friends the same drugs they sell us, but at significantly lower prices because they can get away with charging more here, in the United States, is equally reprehensible. I do not, however, recommend that our government tell the manufacturers what to charge. Setting prices should be left up to the economy. It’s the government’s responsibility to make sure that economy is competitive – and to do so by regulation, not by direct participation.
Here’s a simple legislative solution requiring well less than the Congressional standard 1,000 pages… Other than protecting us against fraudulent representations on the part of foreign suppliers, there should be no restrictions imposed by our government on the buying of brand name pharmaceuticals, and perhaps generics also, from legitimate Canadian suppliers. Pass that law, and the price of prescription drugs charged by American manufacturers will pushed down to where they belong.
You know, if I keep this up, we may just be able to wrap up the entire healthcare reform problem by later this evening. Ironically, I’ve got to get back to work, making sure we do enough business to afford medical insurance for our employees.
*“A Bits and Pieces Approach to Healthcare Legislation” and “Bits and Pieces Healthcare Legislation #2: Overcharging the Uninsured”, both published today, August 19, 2009.
**”The Not So Transparent Presidency of Barack Obama”, published by the WordFeeder, August 11, 2009.