The socialism specter by the right

https://www.pilotonline.com/news/health/vp-nw-virginia-insulin-copay-20190906-5hibwcxxu5deba5whkaql5jtka-story.html

The article describes an effort by a Democratic legislator to cap insulin copays at $30.

Then this Republican responds:

“Ian Lovejoy, a Republican, described the bill as an interesting one — but offered a different perspective.
“Unlike Lee, I think the answer isn’t socialism — it’s removing red tape, protecting those with pre-existing conditions, and increasing transparency in the insurance industry,” Lovejoy wrote in a Facebook message.”

Pre-existing conditions and obfuscation through complex coding are time honored business models for health insurance. Denial of service is a classic method along with dropped coverage and rescission to collect premiums and deny benefits.

ACA dealing with those was socialism according to detractors.

Republicans doing the same is free market?

14 thoughts on “The socialism specter by the right

  1. Instead of looking for ways for government to dictate the price of insulin, we should be asking why something that has been off -patent for 94 years and costs $9 a vial to make is selling for hundreds of dollars?

    Consider why the price of gasoline responds to a change in the price of oil in hours and you will be on the right track.

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    1. RE: “Consider why the price of gasoline responds to a change in the price of oil in hours and you will be on the right track.”

      I’m not sure I follow you.

      I can see that oil companies control their supply chains from back to front, but I imagine drug companies do, too.

      One possible difference might be in the product catalogs for each industry and how they must be managed to preserve very different operations.

      I can imagine a number of scenarios where a seemingly minor regulatory burden on a drug company would produce a few specific absurdities in the management of its whole catalog. I’d guess that’s the case with insulin.

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      1. I was thinking more of the fierce competitiveness of the market.

        There is very little brand loyalty, and regulation is limited to true volume at a standard temp and chemical content.

        If the price at the station across the street is a nickel less, you’ll make the left turn to get there.

        If the Exxon distributor will sell wholesale a nickel less than the Shell distributor, the Shell distributor can’t sell his gas to Wawa.

        There is no FDA telling Wawa it must buy from Exxon or telling you you must buy from Wawa.

        But the FDA only allows a couple of manufacturers to distribute insulin. The market is wrecked.

        If the FDA only checked insulin for purity and bioequivalence and otherwise stayed out of the market, you’d have insulin price wars between pharmacies and their suppliers.

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      2. RE: “If the Exxon distributor will sell wholesale a nickel less than the Shell distributor, the Shell distributor can’t sell his gas to Wawa.”

        I see what you mean. I didn’t realize there are multiple insulin suppliers, but only some are allowed to supply it. That’s really bad.

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  2. The insulin issue is more complicated than that. But there are still three international companies selling the same quality long lasting product in the US. Collusion, not competition, is the word of the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. First, let’s get ONE thing straight — The ACA was the brainchild of the insurance companies. They saw what was happening; preexisting conditions stifled their own businesses. They were competing for fewer and fewer clients and THEY knew the solution ending preexisting conditions made a “level playing field”. The mandate was their idea too. More customers.

    Capping profits and preventing denial of coverage? Yep, their idea too. Huh? Say what? Why? It drove out the $1/day fake insurance companies, and there was a bunch of them.

    But this “level playing field” legislation isn’t unique to healthcare.

    Another industry-written “level playing field” legislation was attempted in the early 2000s. The American breakfast cereal manufacturers (Kellogg’s, Post, etc.) wrote legislation to cap the added sugar in cereal. They did it because THEY were concerned about the health risks to children, but knew that they couldn’t trust each other or compete against small/foreign companies that would simply agree to a limit.

    They sought rules and wanted a neutral referee, so they wrote the bill. It had the votes. It went into committee and never came out.

    ADM’s lobbyists had deeper pockets. The story broke on NPR. I listened to it on a ride home from DC. I tried to find a link to it several times. Terry Gross maybe, and a cereal manufacturing consortium representative.

    Now, as to insulin, or any drug. Leverage is tough to get on the manufacturers. Usually, if you want to drive a price down, you can threaten not to cover it. That won’t work.

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  4. First, let’s get ONE thing straight — The ACA was the brainchild of the insurance companies. They saw what was happening; preexisting conditions stifled their own businesses. They were competing for fewer and fewer clients and THEY knew the solution ending preexisting conditions made a “level playing field”. The mandate was their idea too. More customers.

    Capping profits and preventing denial of coverage? Yep, their idea too. Huh? Say what? Why? It drove out the $1/day fake insurance companies, and there was a bunch of them.
    
    But this “level playing field” legislation isn’t unique to healthcare.
    
    Another industry-written “level playing field” legislation was attempted in the early 2000s. The American breakfast cereal manufacturers (Kellogg’s, Post, etc.) wrote legislation to cap the added sugar in cereal. They did it because THEY were concerned about the health risks to children, but knew that they couldn’t trust each other or compete against small/foreign companies that would simply agree to a limit.
    
    They sought rules and wanted a neutral referee, so they wrote the bill. It had the votes. It went into committee and never came out.
    
    ADM’s lobbyists had deeper pockets. The story broke on NPR. I listened to it on a ride home from DC. I tried to find a link to it several times. Terry Gross maybe, and a cereal manufacturing consortium representative.
    
    Now, as to insulin, or any drug. Leverage is tough to get on the manufacturers. Usually, if you want to drive a price down, you can threaten not to cover it. That won’t work.
    

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought you were inserting an article by an author with your writing style. I did think the word breaks at the end of sentences as a bit odd.

      Interesting take on the insurance companies.

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      1. It’s not a take. It’s what went down. It’s the worst of American capitalism in that it protected the Aetna, Anthem, United, etc., etc.

        But, it did effectively level the field and eliminated schlock policies and companies. The last time I saw a “You can cover your family for as little as $1/day” ad was in 2012. Don’t see them anymore.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Still, there were a lot of cheap healthcare policies with very limited coverage, extremely low caps, etc.

            Trump was pushing some of the crap early on, some as “bridge” policies.

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