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Letter: Bargain with drug firms to cut exorbitant prices

Bargain with drug firms to cut exorbitant prices

We often hear the claim, “Americans have the best health care in the world.” True? Well, it depends how you look at it. True, we have available, to some, the most advanced health care technologies. However, among industrialized nations we score poorly on national health statistics. Most recently it was reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine that Canadian patients with cystic fibrosis live on average 50.9 years versus 40.6 years for Americans. Americans do similarly poorly on measures such as life expectancy and infant mortality. The message seems clear: Americans who can afford it can get “the best health care in the world.”

Only in recent years, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, have we started to move toward providing “best care” for everyone, which cannot be done without providing some form of insurance coverage for everyone. While there is room for improvement, Obamacare appears to be “collapsing” only because partisan considerations have prevented reasonable adjustment.

Allowing negotiation with drug companies would help correct exorbitant pricing. A public option would be one solution to the problem of insurance companies abandoning certain markets. The proposed American Health Care Act would have reduced the number of people covered. Claiming this as a step forward is ridiculous. Republican or Democrat, we should all reject this approach and look for ways to expand, not contract, coverage.

Peter Ewing

Lake View

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