AARP Sells Out Seniors On Prescription Drugs

The AARP has sold out senior citizens by throwing its support behing the Pubbie prescription drug bill, a bill they KNOW will not do seniors much good and WILL do seniors a lot of harm.

Here’s a detailed analysis of the flaws in the bill from Consumers’ Union:

http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_health_care/000664.html

Note that the bill does absolutely NOTHING to control the costs of prescription drugs. In fact, it gives pharmacy benefits managers working for HMOs and such absolute control over what drugs are covered, with no public accounting or accountability. The plan subsidizes private medical plans while subsiding private medical plans as well.

It’s largely a Republican stalking horse aimed at privatizing Medicare, a move that would undoubtedly leave drug benefits in the reach of the wealthy only.

The AARP won’t tell you that the real reason they support the bill is that its provisions favor insurers, and 1/3 of AARP’s income comes from insurance. Also that their CEO has an egotistical need to be a “playah” in Washington and so he’s teamed up with the Pubbies so he’ll be one.

It’s a pathetic betrayal of the Association’s membership and almost certainly will greatly detract from whatever credibility and hence political pwoer the Association has.

Fuck 'em. Fuck the lot of them.

AARP has a website, where members can post thier views.

http://community.aarp.org/rp-legislative/start

The topic of this legislation is getting a healthy and oftimes blistering review.

Does this legislation unfairly benefit the pharmacuetical companies? Investors certainly think so, thier stock is moving along briskly.

I should note that I dont yet have a dog in this fight. Contrary to my son’s opinion, my dotage lies years ahead of me. I have no interest in viagra, I’m still concerned with getting it down

It’s gliding right past stock values plunging being good for seniors that I can’t do. How’s that work?* As for the other stuff plunging, not yet.

Why should rich seniors get a drug benefit while young mothers or kids with cancer, let’s say, don’t? Means testing, is it in there?

It is odd for the Democrats to oppose one of the biggest government entitlement programs to come along in quite some time. The biggest knock is that it won’t pay for itself (“only” 400 billion allocated so far over 10 years). OK, so push for more funding. Democrats usually are good at that.

Clinton is obviously not in charge any more.

But what I really want to know is: does the plan subsidize private medical plans? :wink:

*It’s a hijack. Pharma companies plow a great deal of profit back into research. New drugs are the result. That’s just one of many. Seniors disproportionately being on fixed incomes tied into equity and corporate debt is another. Depending on the government for primary pharmaceutical research and development would be a big mistake.

Really?

I guess you would like to restrict their advertising budgets?

Or, would you like to legislate against stupidity directly?

What are they advertising…? New drugs!

Or old drugs with a new name, a new hydroxyl group, and a new patent. It may be marketing genius, but such “research” isn’t exactly benefiting the public’s health.

Are the writers of that article attributing the possibility of senior’s actually paying more out-of-pocket to general inflation of drug prices or something more?

They’re opposing it because it WON’T WORK as written. It does nothing to keep pharmas from continuing to charge people out the wazoo for durgs. The 400 billion will do little or no good if it just gets sucked up by greedy drug companies, as it undoubtedly will. As the bill is now written, the big pharma people can use the $400 billion as a rationalization for higher prices … “It won’t hurt seniors, it’ll be absorbed by that $400 billion Bush gave us … er, seniors.”

What Bush is pushing is a benefits bill for big pharma, not seniors.

Clinton is obviously not in charge any more.

Astute as always. Your other points have been well addressed already. Got any substantive points?

I say the hell with the greedy geezers. It’s their own damn fault that they didn’t save up for their retirement.

So, you’re supporting the legislation?

Comrade President should direct the Politburo to submit a new 5-Year Plan which includes strong price controls, huh?

Price controls are only a bit more ridiculous than the people in favor of them.

Here’s one of those places where I must depart from my Democratic brethren.

Fuck the old people.

Ask why it is that prescription drugs are so expensive. What is it about this market that’s so screwed up? Fix that first, then worry about the old folks.

Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, patent laws.

I’m telling.

Good. Maybe that’ll get me off Kerry’s 3-times-a-day spam list.

Dude, if I want to send you any more dough, I will.

Preach it Minty !
Of course you’ll get nowhere, because a prescription drug benefit, combined with welfare for the drug-barons is more palatable to all sides than actually addressing the real issue of monopolistic drug pricing.
Given the gouging that’s been going on, these drug companies deserve to have their patents treated with no more respect than the copyright on the latest hot .mp3 from Brittany Spears.

I’m a bit confused, Squink: are you saying patent terms should be shortened, or are you saying they should be done away with? There’s no reason to spend a gazillion dollars on R&D if your competitors can simply copy your formula and undercut you on price (since they don’t have all those R&D expenses to pay for). Patents are a big part of what keeps the engine of new drug development running.

I agree with you, Dewey. But I do think a justification for the difference in price between the US and other countries would be called for.

Sure, the lower prices outside the US are due to cost controls. But if they’re not profitable why sell there in the first place? Sure, you could say that if they refused to sell a drug in country X then country X would just violate their patent and manufacture it themselves. But if it’s not profitable at the lower level wouldn’t allowing the patent violation be preferable to taking a loss?

This indicates to me that drug manufactuers are either A) price supporting overseas operations through higher prices in the US or B) gouging in the US because the opportunity is there.

There’s a Viagra joke in here somewhere.

Lord no ! I like patents. I still get royalties on a drug patent I worked on ten years ago. Patents are good. What’s not good, is when the drug companies run to congress for extensions on their patents, or patent and market, minor modifications of of existing drugs. Ballyhoo the same old stuff as the latest and greatest, and charge accordingly. This does nothing for public health, confuses the consumer, limits competition, and detracts from research.