Pills Shouldn’t be Bitter

High Drug prices have been the subject of endless news stories. Politicians are railing against greedy “Big Pharma.”  It is hardly surprising people ask , “what does Dave’s Plan do to control drug prices if anything?”  They note the subject isn’t specifically mentioned. That’s true , but only because medicine is an integral part of healthcare not something apart.  One of the basic tenets of”Dave’s Plan” is to make the vast majority of healthcare transactions for cash by individuals.  Today the incomprehensible 3rd party maze of  drug companies, pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs), discounts, rebates and insurance companies have resulted in Americans in many cases are paying much more for patented and other drugs than they should.  Yet Americans also have the most access to the advanced and in many cases life saving drugs in the world which of course is the real meaning of medicine.  After all, leaches may be cheap but are hardly crest of the medical wave. So what is the best way to balance price and the best medicines.  Scott W. Atlas of the Hoover Institution writing in the Wall Street Journal asked “so how can policy makers bring drug prices down?  By empowering consumers not insurers  or other intermediaries.”  That is exactly what Dave’s Plan does by allowing transactions to be made at the first dollar for cash.

We know this works even today.  With deductibles getting ever higher, shopping around can mean real savings.  Use pricing apps such as GoodRX.com or RXSaver.  Shop online at Blink Health.com or HealthWarehouse.com. Rather than using your insurance, just asking what the drug price would be if you pay cash at the pharmacy might result in major savings. New rules allow pharmacists to quot e direct prices,but only if you ask. If cash does better in many cases now, imagine what the price pressure would be from virtually all Americans paying cash and looking for the best deal? Could Amazon, Walmart or new entrants ignore such a vast market? That would be the case under Dave’s Plan.

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Howard Small

Howard Schultz is on the verge of running for president as an independent.  The billionaire former Starbucks’s chief surely has the money to self finance a run, but we think this would be going small.  His reasons for making a run outside the Democratic party center on the party’s inability to face reality.   Entitlements about to swallow the national budget with  huge deficits as far as the eye can see if left unaddressed The hot ideas in the party are Medicare for All, free college tuition and a guaranteed job and/or income for all among other expensive things. As a successful businessperson, he asks the simple question, how do we pay for all this?  The answer given is “make the rich pay their fair share.”  While Mr. Schultz might be willing to pay more in taxes, he is well aware a 70%+ top bracket and/or a wealth tax wouldn’t come close to covering all this but it would do irreparable harm. Obviously, he concluded there was no way forward for a candidate for the Democratic nomination who throws cold water on the party’s fantasies.  We came to the same conclusion about both major parties, so even though we don’t agree with him on every issue, we applaud his courage in facing the facts. However, we question a singular independent run is the way to go.

An independent run to our mind is a small solution probably doomed to costly failure.  In essence he would be running in a party of one. That’s why we proposed a new party. We laid this out in our series on”The Future Party” on this Blog.  The people actually building the party would pick the delegates to the conventions and they would  determine the candidates and platforms. Across the country there are people from both parties being forced out  by those on the extremes.  For instance, take Arizona where the Republican elected Kelli Ward a total Trump partisan twice overwhelmingly rejected  by Republican voters in runs for the senate to the Party’s  chairperson.  A state John McCain won handily numerous times has no room in the Republican party for his supporters.  This has been repeated across  the country in both major parties. These homeless are more informed, moderate and realistic than those that have replaced them.  They feel just as orphaned as Howard Schultz but they’re party workers looking for their party not a one-off.  Howard Schultz is going to spend a fortune establishing an organization in every state.  After all, if he can’t get on the ballot in almost every  state he as no chance to win. Even if he wins, he’ll be alone in Washington in a sea of Democrats and /Republicans.  What will he accomplish?  If he loses it all goes away probably without a trace.

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