The prof’s post entitled “ObamaCare is the Gateway Drug to Single-payer” couldn’t be more apt.  There are serious flaws with ObamaCare, and in the terms by which it was presented to the American people, it has been a colossal failure from its foundation to its implementation . . . at least those “good” and popular parts that Obama has allowed to take effect (he’s kicked the not-so-good, deeply unpopular parts down the road).

Hillary has a plan to address the problem that she sees as central to ObamaCare’s continued unpopularity, and that plan (surprise, surprise) involves the federal government’s involvement with / setting of prescription drug pricing.  Her plan is so threatening to free market principles that Pfizer’s CEO says that if implemented this plan will lead directly to single-payer.

Bloomsberg reports:

The head of Pfizer Inc., America’s biggest drugmaker, said that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s proposals to contain the price of pharmaceuticals would be “very negative” for the industry and are a step toward single-payer health care.

Pfizer CEO Ian Read criticized Clinton’s plan, which she released earlier this month, at an investor conference hosted by Wells Fargo in Boston. Clinton’s prescription drug policy would give the government a broad role in overseeing drug prices, including a board to monitor sharp cost increases, and would specifically target price hikes on older medicines.

“The Clinton approach to health care drives you to a one-payer system, and drives you to rationing, drives you to a place where most consumers don’t want to be,” Read said. “In its totality it would be very negative for innovation.”

For Hillary’s part, her campaign responded to this criticism by trotting out the old standby:  “profits before patients.”

In a statement, Clinton campaign spokeswoman Julie Wood said that the candidate has called for expanding investments in innovation for health care.

“She’s said clearly that our pharmaceutical and biotech industries are great sources of innovation and she wants to support their development of new treatments,” Wood said. “But she shares the outrage of Americans who have been subjected to unjustified price hikes for treatments that have long been on the market, and she’s going to hold drug companies accountable when they put profits before patients.”

Interestingly, we’ve just seen the market work as intended.  Facing intense public pressure after substantially raising the price of its epipens, Mylan announced that it will be introducing a generic version of the same device.  The price, currently at $300 for the new generic, is still much higher than the $50 it originally was; should the consumer protest, the price of the generic will go down.  If it doesn’t, another company will step up and fill that need (if the FDA permits it to do so).

Supply. Demand.

Once again the “profit before patients” mantra is disproved; a private company can set whatever price it likes . . . within the parameters the consumer-patient finds reasonable.  In a free market, the consumer holds the company accountable, and change quickly follows any misstep (remember “new Coke“?).  In a central planning system, the price is set by an entity against which most people are not wealthy enough to have legal recourse, and as we’ve seen with ObamaCare, ethanol, and a host of other government-managed sectors of our economy, demand can be “created” or “mandated” via law, rules, and regulations.

Single-payer has long been the progressive goal, and Hillary’s drug plan is just one more step in that direction.


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