The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 13, 2007

Our View -- Medicate drug makers with markets


President Bush has vowed to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. He couldn’t be more wrong about the issue, or more against the tide of what American people think is proper.

As Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., said, “For us to say we cannot negotiate on pharmaceuticals is just crazy.”

Consumers Union and the AARP agree.

Said Bill Vaughan, senior policy analyst with Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports: “Seniors and taxpayers deserve the best deal possible, and right now, we simply aren’t getting a good price on prescription drugs.”

Remarkably, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the law wouldn’t help lower drug prices on “the broad range of covered Part D drugs.” But what about some of those covered or part of those covered? Anything would be better than the system we have now.

But as Dingell said, if it will have no effect, what’s the harm in the president approving it?

This proposal is a far cry from the heavy hand of government interfering in the free market. In fact, it is a free market solution Adam Smith, the father of free market theory, would be proud of.

When you have 43 million people buying prescription drugs regularly, you should be able to negotiate some kind of a discount.

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