Promises Made, Promises Broken

During the mid-term election campaign, a number of Democrats stated that it was time for new leadership in the Democrat party and that they would not support Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Well, guess what–yesterday The Western Journal posted an article with the following headline, “Democrats Nominate Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.”

The article reports:

Nancy Pelosi has been nominated by House Democrats to lead them in the new Congress, but she still faces a showdown vote for House speaker when lawmakers convene in January.

Pelosi ran unopposed as the nominee for speaker in a closed-door Democratic caucus election Wednesday despite unrest from those clamoring for new leadership.

The California Democrat faces tougher math in January, when she’ll need 218 votes, the majority of the full House, to be elected speaker. House Democrats are taking control with at least a 233-vote majority, but some Democrats have pledged that they won’t back Pelosi for speaker.

Anyone ready to take bets? Actually Nancy Pelosi as speaker would be a good thing for Republicans–she is growing old and sometimes here statements indicate that. It truly is time for new leadership in both parties.

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.