If re­peal is war­ranted

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

The Af­ford­able Care Act in­creases ac­cess to health in­sur­ance for Amer­i­cans, but does lit­tle to con­trol costs. At around $10,000 a year per capita, Amer­ica spends two to three times as much on health care as other well-todo coun­tries. And for all that money we re­ceive fewer doc­tor vis­its and suf­fer higher death rates.

Now that the fight to re­peal “Oba­macare” is over, we should find ways to lower costs.

The out­ra­geously high prices Amer­i­cans pay for pre­scrip­tion drugs is no ac­ci­dent. For 30 years ad­min­is­tra­tions of both par­ties have en­acted bad leg­is­la­tion to give the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try un­fair ad­van­tage and raise prices: 1987, ban on re-im­por­ta­tion of pre­scrip­tion drugs; 1997, di­rect to con­sumer ad­vert­ing per­mit­ted, 2003, Medi­care pro­hib­ited from bar­gain­ing on drug prices; 2010, patent rights ex­tended for pre­scrip­tion drugs.

If some­body wants to re­peal some­thing, they should re­peal those four laws—to­mor­row—and the prices we pay for pre­scrip­tion medicine would come way down closer to where they should be. And I think most Amer­i­cans agree with me.

Peo­ple have strong feel­ings for their own po­lit­i­cal party. But in this case I think it’s clear that both par­ties are re­spon­si­ble for caus­ing this prob­lem.

We be­come bet­ter peo­ple and more able to get past the rough spots when we own our mis­takes. I be­lieve we’re all a lot more alike than dif­fer­ent. And I know we get more ac­com­plished work­ing to­gether than we do fight­ing among our­selves.

OWEN REIN Moun­tain View

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