If it works, tax it till it doesn’t, If it doesn’t work, subsidize it until it still doesn’t work

WSJ – The worst possible trade off.

Hopefully, the stupidity of this plan will become obvious before November, but every month it is in place will have a cost in lives and standard of living.

43 thoughts on “If it works, tax it till it doesn’t, If it doesn’t work, subsidize it until it still doesn’t work

  1. The NIH spends about $42 billion on basic medical research. Big Pharma spends more according to… Big Pharma. I wonder how that is calculated. Last I read a few years back, Big Pharma counted such irrelevant intangibles as “lost opportunity costs”. That is, they could have invested in treasury notes, real estate, crypto, diamond mines, etc.

    Of course this is true, but then they would not be pharmaceutical companies.

    And, if the basic research wasn’t done, Big Pharma would have to do it themselves, and that is more than unlikely.

    A rare exception was the heavy push on COVID. But wait, there is more. The taxpayers guaranteed the companies billions in sales just for trying hard.
    This worked, which is good. And that is why most Western countries did also guarantee their companies. Nothing exceptional, just common sense among the nations.

    Basic research goes for years without saleable results until a breakthrough or other relevancies spark further innovation. Thank you fellow taxpayers. (And we pay one more time with the highest prices for drugs in the world, but that is another story.)

    So WSJ doesn’t like green energy and loves Viagra. Fine, I get that. But this story is chicken little, in my simple opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Whoopie $42 Billion for basic research.

      It costs a Billion to get a drug through the FDA approval process. EACH DRUG, Including those like Levitra that are perfectly good drugs but get to the marketplace a few weeks too late to grab the market.

      How many new drugs go through that process every year?

      The value your hated Big Pharma brings to use is measured in birthdays.

      Your cherished windmills bring us only costly electricity and a feeling of superior virtue over the Chinese Communists, which is not a big step.

      All the virtue signaling in the climate brings us is at most a fraction of an inch in reduced seal level rise, over 100 years, but leaves us too poor to make the necessary adaptations for the greater portion of sea level rise that cannot be prevented no matter how much we waste on ‘green energy’

      There is nothing good in that bill. just virtue signaling, pandering and magical thinking that will leave us poorer and sicker and less prepared to deal with the next unexpected threat.


      1. All businesses are risky. You know that as well
        as I do. The payback on Pharma is better than most others, so tossing out their numbers is not proving much.

        I have no problem with profitability. Never have.

        It is about who is paying and affordability. You may not care if a treatment cost $100K, but taxes and private premiums are affected. And the rest of the world is paying less than we are, even for the top drug companies that are not even US based.

        Who would pay for basic research in the quantities we do if taxpayers stopped funding it?

        Who is gaslighting us?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Pharma is a very risky business, and the higher the risk, the higher the return must be. If it weren’t, investors would not put their money in it.

          The rest of the world pays the marginal cost of production and doesn’t pay their share of development costs, and that is a problem. But that is because we make the development costs so high with the delays the FDA imposes.

          Giving the FDA authority to license generic suppliers was one of the larger mistakes in Obamacare. Other than testing for purity and bioavailability, the FDA should have no authority to meddle in the marketplace. Currently the FDA “manages” the market to assure favored suppliers are profitable. Lowering costs is best accomplished by enabling competition, not fake “negotiation” of prices in a managed market.


          1. “ Pharma is a very risky business…”

            And yet they are consistently in the highest profitability rankings of all other sectors.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. I have already addressed this ignorant behemoth tax and inflation increase on the middle class brought to you by the socialist loony left in another thread. What is strange is the Democrats and MSM consider this job killing, cost of living increasing, cost of energy increasing, union padding stupidity a “win”. I still feel two hands on my shoulders…


    1. “What is strange is the Democrats and MSM consider this job killing, cost of living increasing, cost of energy increasing, union padding stupidity a “win”.”

      Funny how the Affordable Care Act was given the same rhetorical treatment by WSJ and the like, yet it never came to pass.

      It seems every time a Democratic passed bill occurs, the truth is much better than the fiction raised by the Right.

      And if you still feel tow hands on your shoulders, better to find a different proctologist than to spread the “sky is falling” attitude of the WSJ, and from your previous post, the NY Post.


        1. But like Medicare and Social Security, it has become so popular that even Republican led states have adopted some of the provisions.

          The ACA is doing EXACTLY what it said it would do: Allow more people to afford Health Care Insurance and not go broke with a broken ankle. And the economy did not collapse because of it either.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. ACA is really just subsidized private health insurance making it affordable to the middle and working classes. And it was coupled with Medicaid expansion for the lower income brackets.

          (Recall that before ACA, the insurance industry essentially screwed a lot of insured folks. Rescissions, dropped coverage, denials, delays and pre-existing condition stipulations that made it impossible to change carriers if you had been treated for more than a hangnail.)

          Texas has one of the lowest rates of insured residents, mainly because of refusal to expand Medicaid. This is becoming more of a problem given the abortion ban, closing of clinics, fewer hospitals with pregnancy care and deliveries and doctors either leaving or not moving to Texas. So if you are low income, have a problem pregnancy, start praying and see how that works.

          So if you want to know what would happen without ACA, look at Texas. Kind of like its electrical service.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. The problem with Medicaid expansion is that combined with Medicare and the highly regulated ACA plans, we are close to a monopsony, which is every bit as destructive as a monopoly.


          2. “monopsony”

            Healthcare SHOULD be a monopsony as in Medicare-for-all. It is essentially what every other advanced democracy has and just about ALL of them get better results at significantly lower costs than we do.


        1. AFP is not an unbiased arbiter of opinion. They didn’t like the ACA, or ANYTHING that is done by a Democrat.

          And please explain how it is a complete failure with the number of uninsured at record lows?


          1. Medicaid is not insurance. There is no pooling to share risks. it is straight out purchase of services by the government.

            Your son may have benefited, but that has nothing to do with whether it is insurance.


          2. ” There is no pooling to share risks. it is straight out purchase of services by the government.”

            At a much lower rate than what your private insurance would have paid.

            Health care is health care. Allowing those who do not have the means to afford it, or the insurance, are covered by Medicaid. Which IS insurance, but without all of the third party BS that gets involved.

            I have Tricare, and I found out after my April annual visit with my PCM, that the PSA blood test now requires a referral because it is considered a screening. (According to Humana who manages Tricare-East Retiree programs) Asinine. But that is what insurance gets you. (Maybe off-topic a bit, but I needed to throw that out there for those of us who have normal PSA tests are part of blood work. Be advised and find out BEFORE your next doctor’s visit. Id anyone hears differently, please let me know.)


          3. Thanks for the input. I always had one before this year and it wasn’t considered to be outside normal blood testing. I’ll talk to my PCM in October before I see her again.


          4. “real insurance”

            What is that that Medicaid is not?

            I will bet that you are participating in Medicare? With your family’s many health issues you would not be able to get private for-profit “real insurance” for any amount of money. You can thank LBJ for your not being bankrupt.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. The same money I put into FICA Medicare put in an HSA backed by a catastrophic insurance plan would have taken care of me better and allowed me to give my children a head start.

            Medicaid is not insurance.

            If you create a monopsony, your doctor will be the guy who couldn’t get into barber college.


          6. I didn’t say I had the option at the time, I said the same money used differently would have provided a better benefit and left my children with a head start on theirs.


          7. What the hell are you talking about? You said something about barber college rejects. I basically said that was inane and made no sense. And now this rambling word salad that also has nothing to do with reality.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. “If you create a monopsony, your doctor will be the guy who couldn’t get into barber college.”

            Stuff and nonsense. Most countries have single payer systems and have also maintained high standards of medical care as EVIDENCED by their better health outcomes.

            As for your claims about how much better you could have done than be on Medicare, I will only say that I think you are out of touch with how insurers treated sick people before the ACA reigned them in.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. I am well aware of the problems with the insurance industry prior to the ACA, and after. Those problems were largely the result of crony regulation at the state level. The answer to that problem would have been to allow people to purchase their insurance across state lines and through an HSA independent of their employer(even if funded by the employer.)

            We studied those problems at length in building the TLP plan.


          10. You can study an issue to a fare-the-well and still miss the salient points. With respect to healthcare, it is inherently not controllable by market forces UNLESS you are willing to let those who cannot pay suffer and die. Decent people will not accept such collateral damage for ideological purity.

            Not too long ago my wife needed a scan. The price to the uninsured was about $8,000. The insurance company had negotiated a price to them of around $400. Which we had to pay because we had not reached our deductible ceiling. That is for ONE scan. No matter how hard you saved nor how savvy an investor you may be, your HSA would melt away very quickly under that kind of monopoly power with one major illness or accident. There is a reason that bankruptcy over medical bills has been the experience of MILLIONS of families.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. If a hospital has a scanner that costs $5million, and uses it a few hundred times a year, what do you think be required to amortize it over a 10 year period, pay for the space it occupies and staff it?

            Keep in mind that before advanced imaging, the course of action likely would have been exploratory surgery.

            In the TLP plan, HSA’s would include catastrophic insurance coverage so you would benefit from the insurer’s negotiating power, just as you did.


          12. “You’re going to force the best and brightest to be doctors instead of some other profession that pays better and leaves them free?”

            It is a very ugly world that lives in your head.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Medicaid is not insurance?

            A distinction without a difference in the context of this discussion. Just so you can deny the fact that under the ACA significantly more people are “insured.” All that is missing is a claim that Obama lied when he spoke of such people being “insured.” But, go ahead now…

            Liked by 1 person

          14. It is what it is.

            But the claim was that it was insurance. Words have meaning. it is not insurance. Insurance is shared risk by paying premiums into a pool. Medicaid recipients do not pay into a pool to share risk.


          15. Nope

            Medicaid is not funded by FICA

            The TLP plan had a superior method for providing real insurance to the poor.


            “Replace Medicaid with need based subsidy of individual and family HSA’s. – Currently, we provide medical care to certain disadvantaged people through the Medicaid system. Whether that is good policy or not is beyond the scope of this topic, but there is no reason for the system to be administered by the States instead of the private sector. With HSA’s established for all families and individuals, State and Federal assistance could simply be electronically deposited into the beneficiary’s HSA’s monthly and the participants could then purchase their plans in the private sector just like anyone else, through their church or community organizations. In that way, as those people no longer needed assistance, only the source of funding need change while their health care plans continue uninterrupted with no exposure to pre-existing condition limitations.”


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