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Re: can you say...IBC, SBC, EIEIO...

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Daryl Richardson wrote:

Fellow engineers,

       This "Cheaper drugs from Canada" thing is a red herring!!!

I decided not to address this issue while the American election was in progress. Now that it is over (for better or worse) there are two points worth noting.

What Mr. Richardson calls "price controls" is simply agreed-upon pricing, and that happens all the time where healthcare is concerned. In essence, what Canada has done is the same thing that any large purchaser of healthcare services include pharmaceuticals does: Negotiate the prices.

My wife is a teacher. She provides our health insurance, including pharmacy benefits.

When we need a prescription, we go and get it at a participating pharmacy, and we pay between $15-$50 per prescription, depending upon the "list" on which the drug appears.

Some of these things "retail" at $350 and even more.

The "dirty little secret," though, is that the school district is part of a "consortium" of participants in just one of many, many pharmaceutical insurance networks that negotiate the prices for which they pay. When you add up the "co-pay" plus the insurance premiums we pay, and compare it to the NEGOTIATED cost of the drugs--while, suffice it to say, the insurance company is in this to make a profit; we aren't getting anything for free.

In fact, this is just one example of how the free enterprise system of healthcare in the U.S. is so far superior to any "single-payer" system anywhere else. The great majority of Americans benefit from this, and competition keeps prices low, and allows the providers to make a profit. It's "win-win," as is generally the case in a free-enterprise society.

This whole "cheaper drugs in Canada" boondoggle is evidence of either (1) the general ignorance or (2) the willingness of the people who buy it to be horn-swoggled by political demagogues like the late unlamented Mr. Kerry.


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