Score One For Consumers

On Wednesday The Western Journal posted an article with the following heading, “Trump Signs Law To Lower Drug Prices, Ends Gag Orders Against Pharmacists.”

The article reports:

Currently, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers use the gag clauses to “forbid pharmacists from proactively telling consumers if their prescription would cost less if they paid for it out-of-pocket rather than using their insurance plan,” according to a press release from Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, the bill’s sponsor.

Trump also signed Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s Know the Lowest Price Act, which “prohibits Medicare drug plans from putting a gag clause on a pharmacy in their contracts,” according to CNN.

The Patients’ Right To Know Drug Prices Act would lead to “a slight decrease in federal revenues,” according to the Congressional Budget Office.

That decrease could be offset by another provision in the bill, reported Politico.

Collins’s bill also targets “pay-for-delay,” a tactic where a brand drug company pays a generic manufacturer to withhold a product that would compete with the brand drug for market share.

Closing this loophole could save consumers and taxpayers money, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Who would think that using your debit card to buy your [prescription] drugs could be less expensive than using your insurance card? It’s counterintuitive. Americans have the right to know which payment method provides the most savings when purchasing their prescription drugs,” Collins tweeted Wednesday after Trump signed the bill.

If consumers pay for drugs out of their pockets because it is cheaper rather than relying on the insurance companies to pay for these drugs, eventually the insurance companies will be able to charge less for their drug policies, saving consumers money.

I can give you a personal example of this. When living in another state, I was prescribed a maintenance drug that my husband’s medical insurance covered at the time. My co-pay was $50 a month. When I moved to North Carolina, my health insurance did not cover the drug. My out-of-pocket cost was $50. Hmmm.

We need across-the-board reform in the area of medical insurance. The first thing to do might be to get the government as far away from that area of the economy as possible. There are fairly simple ways to make sure that everyone has access to healthcare (everyone has access by law to emergency rooms regardless of their ability to pay). It is time to tell the government to find something else to do.

Justice Turned Upside Down

In June of last year, I reported on a rape case in Idaho (here). I don’t usually write about such things, but this was an unusual case (I hope). A five-year-old special needs girl was sexually assaulted after being lured to the laundry room of the apartment complex where she lived. Three young men assaulted her–two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14. The attack was filmed by the oldest boy, so there is little doubt as to what happened.

However, it seems as if our justice system is not particularly interested in protecting little girls. World Net Daily recently posted an article about the trial of the young thugs.

Some highlights from the article:

A judge sentenced three Muslim refugee boys in the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl in Idaho, but nobody knows the length or terms of the sentence because the judge has barred everyone in the courtroom, including the victim’s own parents, from speaking about the case.

The three boys — two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14 — pleaded guilty in juvenile court in April to multiple counts of sex crimes in an incident that occurred last June in Twin Falls. The assault occurred at Fawnbrook Apartments, when 5-year-old Jayla, who is developmentally disabled, was lured into a laundry room, stripped of her clothing and sexually assaulted while the oldest boy filmed the entire incident.

Now, following a sentencing hearing Monday at the Snake River Juvenile Detention Center in Twin Falls, Judge Thomas Borresen of Idaho’s 5th Judicial District issued a gag order preventing everyone in the courtroom from saying anything about the sentence received by the boys.

Borresen did allow the family to say they were unhappy with the sentencing, but threatened to jail them for contempt of court if they say why they are unhappy.

“We can’t talk about it since it’s a sealed case,” said Lacy Peterson, the girl’s mother, when contacted by WND Tuesday.

Mathew Staver, chairman and co-founder of the nonprofit legal assistance agency Liberty Counsel, has stated that the judge does not have the right to place a gag order after the trail has taken place. This is a violation of the Constitution.

Why would the judge seal the records after the trial? I understand that our legal system does not usually release the names of juvenile defendants, but are these thugs a threat to other women in the community? Shouldn’t parents be aware of who these thugs are?

If you had a young daughter and lived in this community, would you want these young men on the sexual predators list? The gag order is totally insane. I for one would like to know exactly what the sentence was for this crime.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The young girl’s parents were treated very badly, and the court seemed very concerned about any trauma her attackers might have suffered because they were arrested and not concerned about the trauma the little girl suffered. The entire story is upside down, and the judge is an example of a judge who is obviously not interested in making sure the lives and rights of Americans are protected.

 

The Double Standard At Work

On Friday I posted an article about Aaron and Melissa Klein, who ran a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. They were fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. They were also ordered “to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.” This occurred in the State of Oregon. I guess Michigan doesn’t do things that way.

This was posted on YouTube on April 2nd of this year:

Now that same-sex marriage is legal, will Muslim bakeries still be able to refuse to bake cakes for those weddings without any consequences?

Losing Our Rights

The Weekly Standard posted an article today about Aaron and Melissa Klein, who previously ran a bakery called Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The bakery is now closed and shuttered after the State of Oregon fined them  $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. To add insult to injury, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian added a gag order to the fine, ordering the Kleins “to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.”

I am hoping that the gag order will be repealed. The fine should also be repealed, but I don’t see much chance of that happening in Oregon. This is another example of what is happening to our First Amendment–the concept of the ‘free exercise of religion‘ has been replaced with the idea of ‘freedom of religion.’ The concept of ‘free exercise’ allows people to practice their religion in the public square. The concept of ‘freedom of religion’ confines religion to the interior of the church. It is hard to be ‘salt and light’ in a society (as mentioned by Jesus) when you are not allowed to express your views in that society.