In a long and particularly undistinguished career on the Hill, there have been few laudable points in the record of Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter.
One of the only ones has been an apparent willingness to support re-importation of prescription medications from places like Canada.
It now appears that this sole ray of commendable light is tainted, as well (emphasis mine):
Vitter was asked at a town hall meeting about the fact that he opposes government health care, but supports re-importing prescription drugs from, as a constituent said, "countries that have socialized medicine." Vitter has campaigned in the past on re-importing drugs from Canada.
"My ultimate goal," Vitter explained, "is to use that (re-importation) to cause that (pricing) system to collapse."
So, his reason for supporting re-importation is solely predicated on the notion that if enough Americans partake, it might wreck Canada's system.
Having brought their health system to its knees based on the strength of sheer volume, the Canadians would then have no choice but to forsake their hideous socialist ways and embrace the infallible pharmaceutical free market.
Of course, it would be unlikely to go down in quite that fashion. As Kleefeld points out, it'd be more likely that Canada would simply place restrictions on American purchases, cutting us off if the volume got too high.
No matter. Despite the lack of plausibility in his "logic", Vitter now claims the clubhouse lead for worst rationale for a policy position ever.
Although, it is not without some positive externalities. It did lead one TPMDC commenter to inquire about Vitter's position on diaper re-importation.
UPDATE: The folks over at TPMDC have followed up with a transcript of the Q&A, and Vitter's goal of knocking down the Canadian system seems to be predicated on the notion that this will lower prices for American consumers. Here is his logic on the matter:
It's because I believe re-importation will cause the pricing system world-wide that the big drug companies exploit to collapse. Right now the big drug companies are able to charge very different prices in different countries, and of course we pay the highest price of all. If they did that, like they do now, but then we can write off to Canada, and pass certain safety provisions, and get drugs from there - guess what? That system implodes. That system can't survive. So my ultimate goal, in terms of re-importation, is causing that system to collapse, so there's a true, world-wide price for a drug. And that might - wouldn't might - that would increase the cost in Canada, that would dramatically decrease the cost in the US. So that's where I'm coming from.
This, to his credit, at least has a clear goal in mind, even if that goal might not be attainable (anyone with a health care background is more than welcome to chime in). It isn't real likely to get him any "good neighbors" awards, however.