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View Diary: GOP's Paul Ryan Doubles Down on Medicare Rationing (24 comments)

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  •  How would bidding work? (0+ / 0-)

    From what I understand, most reimbursement rates for Medicare are already lower than for most private sector insurance plans, or for private pay.

    I'm curious, how would the bidding work?  Also, if we gut the profits from the Pharma industry, won't that slow innovation?  If you're taking expensive medicine, it must have been invented in the last decade or it would be generic.  In the long-term, there is actually rampant deflation in drug costs.  Is the solution really to just decrease the number of new drugs?

    •  Bush passed a law against bidding (0+ / 0-)

      for drugs by Medicare.

      I have asked for drugs 'like' the brand names I am taking, but my doctor doesn't think any other drugs would be the best for my health.

      They will go generic in a couple of years.

      So far the high cost of prescription drugs is my only complaint against Medicare.  I paid just as much without insurance.  My insurance cancelled my prescription coverage.

      The expensive drugs I am taking are Spiriva and Advair.

      High charges like this hurts the government too, because they pay for drugs for Medicaid and government retirees. Smokers pay a lot of the kids medical costs but smokers are decreasing and drug prices are increasing.

      •  Do tell more... (0+ / 0-)

        I don't recall the Bush law, although I do remember barring the importation of drugs.  But the problem with the drugs is that each one is produced by only one company.  So, I'm still not clear on how bidding would work, unless you're talking about allowing people to individually negotiate prices rather than have the gov't set them arbitrarily.  If that's the case, you may have a point.  It would force drug companies to compete rather than buy-off congressmen.

        To be fair, Bush didn't pass the law, Congress did.  And the Dems have been in control of congress for a while now, so they must like it too.

        Who do you think should pay for your drugs, if you don't.  You paid into the system when drug costs were low (because we haven't invented so many good ones).  Now that they are high, shoud working people not only pay your costs, but also pay into the system to fund their own higher benefits?  That seems unfair to your kids.

        I think Ryan is right about one thing...we need to make some tough choices.  I may not like his plan, but he is the only one with the guts to actually put one out there.  And the longer we wait to do something, the more likely it is that whatever Washington decides to do will look a whole lot worse than Ryan's plan ever did.

        •  I don't think drug companies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          should be allowed to gouge people:

          Billy Tauzin, this time in his role as head lobbyist for PhRMA, had a huge role in writing this Senate health care bill. He again assured the bill would be a massive giveaway to drug companies by cutting a secret, backroom deal with Obama to keep out drug re-importation and direct Medicare price negotiation. In addition, this time, Tauzin also won another big giveaway to the brand name drug makers by securing an extremely long exclusivity period for biologic drugs.

          I have always paid my own way and tried to deal fairly with others.  

          One of my medicines went from $75 to $500 a month.  It added another hundred this summer.

          Obama should be impeached.

          •  Costs & Benefits (0+ / 0-)

            I agree that Obama had to sell his soul to get Obamacare through congress.  No argument there.

            However, if you look at the drug companies and their profits and stock prices, they haven't been doing all that well.  Many have consolidated because they are having trouble finding enough blockbuster drugs to fill their pipelines and justify the research and regulatory costs.  So, if they aren't making excessive profits, it must be going somewhere.  Most of their expenses, I suspect, are in R&D.  Those, by the way, are great jobs we can’t afford to lose.

            If we cut the profits, the industry will consolidate and fewer drugs will get developed.  You always have the choice not to take your drug until it goes generic.  It sounds harsh, but if we undercut profits and fewer drugs get developed, the result will be the same...accept you lose the choice to pay up if you really want.  The drug must be worth $500 or you wouldn't pay for it, right?

            So, based on what you said, would you be in favor of more consumer-driven plans, HSAs, etc. that would make drug companies compete rather than rely on campaign donations to get congress to give them better rates?  Also, I assume you are in favor of a single-payer system.  Do you think this sort of thing will get better or worse with more gov’t control.  It sounds like a bonanza for lobbyists.

            Also, if you don't mind sharing, what is the drug that went from $75 to $500?  I've never heard of anything like that and would be curious how/why it happened.

            •  It is Advair (0+ / 0-)

              an inhaler.  I also take Spiriva.

              Advair was $75 when a friend of mine took it about 2002.  It has came down to $435 per inhaler now. It is only a 28 day supply and would be over $500, if you figure the extra month you have to pay for it over a year. It went up $100 this summer.

              Spiriva is expensive too.  It is an inhaler too and works on a different receptor than Advair. I have asked for like kind prescriptions, but my specialist insists this is what I have to have.

              I damaged my lungs by accidently breathing a caustic chemical years ago. Smoking didn't help.  I quit, but what helped the most is the patch which is more expensive than smoking.

              Anyway the prescription plan has not saved a penny for Medicare patients.  Medicine is higher than ever, then you pay the plan premiums.  Infuriating.  Even my generics are creeping up.

        •  VA gets medicine at a lot lower (0+ / 0-)

          price because the VA negotiates for them.

          There is something criminal when drugs have went up five times higher after a drug plan has been passed.

          Why no controls at all?

          Is Obama working for us or the drug companies?

          •  Only getting worse (0+ / 0-)

            My guess is that with more gov't control of healthcare, we will only see more influence of lobbyists.  

            Are you leaning toward more consumer-driven solutions where prices are negotiated in the free market?  Or, do you think there is a way the gov't can really be trusted to steer the healthcare ship?

            •  To be honest, I think they are (0+ / 0-)

              deliberately letting them rip the average person off.  They have even moved prescription drugs for Medicaid to Medicare. Medicaid is supposed to be paid out of the general fund. They are determined to ruin Medicare.

              We will soon receive an offer for the elderly for free health care instead of Medicare and less Social Security.

              The reason Republicans and corporate Democrats hate taxes is because they want that tax money as profit in their 'favorites' pockets.

              Medicine costs are going to ruin everything, but the gov seem to encourage higher prices.  

              I am going to quit using my prescriptions after I hit the donut hole and after I spend the $250 for hitting the donut hole.  That in itself is ridiculous and a way to drain Medicare patients.

              We need more and better non corporate Democrats.  The fact the republicans have a shot at office again is baddddd.

              Everyone should quit using their health care, unless they absolutely have to.   Starve the beast is hard though if you need your meds and health care.

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