Hit & Run

Competition Is Better Than Drug Price Controls Says Congressional Budget Office Again

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But House Democrats beg to differ. As part of their 100 hours, the House plans to pass legislation that would enable the federal government to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices. The acting director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) replied to a query by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.): "The secretary would be unable to negotiate prices across the broad range of covered Part D drugs that are more favorable than those obtained" by the plans under current law.

The CBO made the same arguments when Congress passed legislation authorizing the new health care subsidy. The pharmaceutical industry embraced Part D because it contained a clause forbidding the feds from "interfering" with private drug price negotiations. Now we are all learning that the feds can always change their minds. When will people ever understand that price controls are inevitable whenever the government gets involved in providing a "service"?

Disclosure: As far as I know I don't own any "Big Pharma" stocks--not enough upside potential. I do own small amounts of a number of innovative (one hopes) biomedical companies. Almost none have products on the market. My stockbrocker spouse will only have pity for you if you make investment decisions based on anything I invest in.