We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, May 15. 2018
In the US, high-volume off-patent medicines are inexpensive whether generics or not. On-patent, less-popular drugs can be ridiculously expensive.
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I'd like the president to order the FDA to obey the law. For instance, the FDA was able to remove a number of drugs grandfathered into the Food & Drug Act by requiring new manufacturers to perform drug trials like these were brand new drugs.
The average life span in Costa Rica, and many other South American countries is just as long as it is in the U.S. without any of these drugs. In Japan and China, it's even longer.
The author makes the argument that taxpayers have some kind of moral obligation to supply these expensive drugs at no cost to elderly people. That's simply not true.
It is much more complicated than that. The average lifespan for American of Northern European extraction is actually greater than that of Japan. In fact the highest in the world. The average lifespan of Costa Rica is meaningless in comparison because: 1. it is a tiny population and not comparable. 2. Their actual factual reporting is inaccurate compared with the U.S. which is stringently accurate. People die in Costa Rica who never make it into the stats because they are poor rural people.
Fair enough. But I lived in Japan for five years, and can tell you that their use of pharmaceuticals is a tiny fraction of what we use in the United States.
And that leads to another question: You and I both know that Social Security and Medicare are Ponzi schemes that will eventually collapse. Why should I be required to buy medicine for a complete stranger? I would be better-off saving that money for my own family. Which leads to another question: Why is maximizing life-span so important? I think that 70 years should be enough for anyone.
And finally: Nobody has proved the effectiveness of most pharmaceuticals in relation to natural healing; such as vitamin therapy. Many prescribed drugs accomplish nothing. Have you seen all the people who keep jumping from one anti-depressant to another? For the medical industry, it's all just a big game.
" I think that 70 years should be enough for anyone. "
I am 74 and I respectfully disagree.
I got a lung cancer diagnoses at age 62. I had already seen a number of our extended family get the same diagnoses and watched a couple of them pass away (4 more since then). I can absolutely assure you that no matter who it is that gets the diagnoses where death hangs over them it may affect you deeply and bring you sadness. But it cannot compare with getting that diagnoses on yourself. It will shake you to your core. I considered suicide, just walking away from the medical treatment, walking off into the woods to die, etc. When it happens to you I know your first thought will not be " I think that 70 years should be enough for anyone."
Congress is solely responsible for over extending SS and Medicare. It would not be in trouble if they had kept their dirty hands off it. But it is a contract. I agreed to pay into it for 47 years and they agreed to give me a stipend after age 65 and a substandard health care insurance plan. They can change the law for new workers/citizens but they must hold up their part of the contract for those of us who paid into it.
I disagree with you on two points. First of all, you assume that young taxpayers should be responsible for supporting your thirty or more years of retirement, so that you can enjoy your longer life-span. In reality, no one is responsible for your retirement except you. My main concern is that when I reach 70, I want to avoid becoming a burden. They say that in 2050 the ratio will be two workers to one retiree. That won't fly.
The second point on which I disagree is the idea that Congress can commit to a ruinous entitlement plan on my behalf. They never asked me about this. If your interested in just how bad the problem has become, read this: www.lewrockwell.com/2018/05/martin-armstrong/illinois-to-impose-1-property-tax-on-top-of-everything-annually-for-30-years/
The point being that our ravenous government is going to steal everything that's not nailed down, in order to keep feeding the politically powerful class of elderly voters. So please bear in mind, when the tax revolt happens, that millions of people are not going to get the S.S. or Medicare that they expect.
And when it comes to suicide, I'm all for it. I think that euthanasia should be offered as a palliative care option for anyone over sixty. Married couples could even go on a "farewell cruise."
“you assume that young taxpayers should be responsible for supporting your thirty or more years of retirement”
You are aware that I put money into the system for 47 years AND I did it under a contract with the government. I essentially bought an annuity. The government decided in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s to take the excess from SS and spend it. They “borrowed” it but now they don’t want to pay it back. But it is a legally enforceable contract. As for the young taxpayers I am willing to let you have your way on that. Elect congressmen who will end SS and end the payroll taxes and I’m good with that. Keep in mind my contract for my annuity that I paid for (not you, not young taxpayers) is still enforceable. Go ahead, vote SS out of existence. I don’t care. But break my contract and I take the government to court.
“I disagree … that Congress can commit to a ruinous entitlement plan on my behalf.”
Again I totally agree. Elect congressmen to end this stupid plan. I’ll vote for them too. But you are still stuck with the contract for us old guys who have upheld our end of the deal. But feel free to opt out for future retirees.
“So please bear in mind, when the tax revolt happens, that millions of people are not going to get the S.S. or Medicare that they expect.”
That could be true. I hope that you would agree that LONG before they end a program that a taxpayer paid for that they would first end all the programs that are true handouts. No more welfare, food stamps and housing. Just think how much money we could save by ending all those programs and firing all the government workers who manage them. So have at it. End welfare and all the handouts and free stuff and then get back to us about the programs we paid for and we can talk. Good luck!
As for "euthanasia". We could round people up and send them by boxcars to camps where they could be gassed to death. I think you are onto to something...
I have an idea on how we can compromise: Let's leave the entitlements in place; and then tell workers that from now on, they have to pay their payroll taxes in cash.
The trick is to fix this without destroying a very beneficial and very effective drug industry.
The major problem is that the U.S. (as we have with all our trade agreements) has allowed and even encouraged benefiting other nations at the cost of hurting our own citizens. We have allowed drug companies to sell drugs overseas even below costs and let them make their profit by selling them here and high markups. The correction should be to standardize the costs. Same costs here as in Canada or Dubai.
I suspect that our government will screw this up and fix the non-problem part of this and ignore the actual problem.
"The left has long claimed that drug companies charge more in the U.S. due to naked greed."
Years ago when I was a graduate student the VP of a major pharmaceutical company was commencement speaker and was interviewed by the student paper. When asked why drug prices were so high he explained that it takes 10 years and costs a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market. For every 10 new drugs they bring to market, only 3 make lots of money. Some of the drugs don't even recover their R&D costs. The winners have to pay for the losers. When asked why they didn't just bring the winners to market, he said that if they knew how to pick the winners, they would just go to the racetrack to make money.
My insurance company pays $12,213.00 a month for my prescription.