Monday, November 24, 2003


I have said this before myself but when Milton Friedman says it, it is worth repeating: "We are deeply concerned about proposed legislation to remove pharmaceutical companies' ability to control the importation of their products. The goal of this legislation will be to reduce prices in the American market by imposing other nations' price controls on us. If this attempt succeeds, American consumers would get the short-term windfall of lower prices, but they would end up unnecessarily suffering and living shorter lives -- because promising new therapies would be delayed or not even developed. Even the threat of price controls reduces the incentive to develop new drugs."

And more on the same theme: "The problem here is politicians face terrible incentives when regulating the prescription drug market. Many of you will know that politicians have had negative consequences on the rest of the American health care system, and now they’ve set their eyes on prescription drugs and threaten to screw that up, too."

In Canada even dogs get better health care: "Still lusting after socialized medicine? Consider the story of a man in Canada (a country well-known for socialized medicine) who needed a cat-scan but had to wait several months to see a physician. In his desperation, he booked an appointment for himself at a local veterinary clinic that had the imaging equipment he needed. He registered himself under the name 'Fido' to assure that he would get in."

The poor old Poms! ("Poms" is Australian slang for the English). The only thing their government can think of to improve their dreadful hospital system is to rip more and more money out of the taxpayer to spend on their existing system of socialized medicine -- the infamous "National Health". Yet, just North of England is Scotland -- where their National Health system already gets 20% more funding than the English equivalent. And by practically every criterion, the Scottish system delivers much WORSE results! But that extra funding does buy LOTS of extra bureaucracy! I sometimes think socialists must be pretty close to brain dead. Some part of their brain is not working.

Newt Gingrich [urges] conservatives to support the proposed Medicare reform bill. He argues Republicans should sign onto the $400 billion Medicare prescription drug bill because it includes a provision for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). But before Americans take the bait, they first should consider how previous health reform proposals and laws have failed to lower costs and increase access to health care."

Beware of government "solutions": "Just over a month ago we 'celebrated' the 10th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s speech to a joint session of Congress in which he called for a government takeover of the health care industry. Fortunately for America and the quality of our health care system, the massive one-size-fits-all Clintoncare plan went down to defeat. ... Ten years later, the healthcare debate rages on."


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