Mem­bers of Congress too in­su­lated from the real costs of health­care

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the re­cent ar­ti­cle “House com­mit­tee adds pharma ‘bad ac­tor’ pro­vi­sion to FDA user fee bill” (ModernHealth­, May 18), in re­spect to the depth of “crowd fund­ing” of Congress by Big Pharma lob­by­ists, per­haps the only way to jump-start mean­ing­ful ac­tion and elim­i­nate this toy­ing at the edges of the pric­ing prob­lem is to re­quire all mem­bers of Congress and their staff to en­joy the priv­i­lege of hav­ing the same dis­con­nected health in­surance as their con­stituents. In par­tic­u­lar, let them ap­pre­ci­ate the full mean­ing of drug for­mu­la­ries, out-of­pocket costs, co-pays, etc.

Con­sider how few in Congress re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­ces­sive cost of drugs, since they en­joy full cov­er­age, just as the world used to be for other peo­ple. Af­ter a few months of pay­ing out their own cash, show them what those same drugs cost in Switzer­land, the U.K., E.U., Canada, Aus­tralia, etc. It’s like the old adage that mem­bers of Congress are too will­ing to go to war un­til it means their own chil­dren have to fight. Ac­cept­able, af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble health­care is in­deed a right of all Amer­i­cans; it is not to be con­fused with the dol­lars ex­pended on mar­ket­ing to en­sure prof­itabil­ity. M.E. Singer Chicago

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