Let Medicare Negotiate

Recently the Democrats came out of nowhere and introduced a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The Democrats!  Hooray! Wait, what?  How has this administration not done this already?  Why have the Republicans not done this?  Per the article, “It defies logic that the federal government is not using its enormous purchasing power to get a better deal for seniors on prescription drugs,” Welch (D-Vt.) said.  I agree and I am not a Republican or Democrat. I am a free market guy.  And this sure sounds like a free market idea.

Am I missing something here?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Let Medicare Negotiate

  1. mamadoc
    August 2, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    They haven’t done it because they are in big Pharma’s pocket. Wish I could afford to buy a Congress critter myself.

  2. stevem64
    July 31, 2018 at 9:09 am

    “Am I missing something here?”

    Well… just the fact that every drug lobbyist on the planet is going to get this thing killed fast.

    When Medicare Part D came through, this inability to negotiate prices followed. Yet, no one seemed to notice or care.

    Yes!! This is badly needed!!! But it won’t happen.

  3. Terry Nugebt
    July 31, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Yes Dr Doug you are missing something. In a free market buyers and sellers function independently in the private economy.

    Medicare functions as something called a quasi monopsony in economic parlance. They are a group purchasing agent for virtually all seniors , a cohort which just happens to be the largest consumer of meds.

    A true free market perspective would advocate elimination of all 3rd party payment including public sector.

    Alas that is but a thought experiment. The reality is that there has not been a free market in the healthcare sector since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Only Pharma lobbying has preserved pricing power which has its advantages in terms of funding R&D.

    But this is a classic Trump wedge issue because we are subsidizing global socialized medicine.

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