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January 06, 2016

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Barbara Tzetzo Gosch

Thank you for your informative piece on how the Am. public, in some cases more than others-essentially is punished for being ill. We could also get into dental care. Even if you're fortunate to have relative good health, someone you know and love is up ag. this "sickening" health care business that's been perpetuated.
To think in France, that has the best health care system in the world-one issue was...can we stlil afford drive patients into the countyside for their spa?
I'd rather go with "Give me Liberty, or Give me Death." Hopefully, it's painless.

Roz


Here! Here! Wonderful newsletter! So, we have to vote for Bernie

Alan Weiss

Very well put. Insane that we even discuss this. It doesn't get us anywhere.

I was in a meeting once where the vice president of sales was complaining about the rising cost of health insurance. The actuary said just get a renewal date and go back to quote at that time. The point being the insurance companies were increasing rates so quickly that you could only be fair if you quoted at the same time as your competition. The insurance companies were purposefully paying the doctors and hospitals more and more money. The companies based rates on a ratio of claims/reserve for claims/expenses/profits. The higher the claims the greater, in the final analysis, the profits. It filtered down through all phases of health care. The drug companies were the biggest pigs (just slightly ahead of the doctors and hospitals) and still are.

It is very hard to curb a pig’s appetite. All of the medical field was and is fed money from the insurance companies. Now we find that the insurance companies have about hit their limit as to how much they can pay, and put it even more on us (we've paid higher and higher premiums) by continuing to raise our deductibles and co-pays to feed the crazed animal that they created.

You know, we can’t afford them anymore or the ridiculous cost of drugs.

Jodi

A trend I've been seeing from my somewhat brief experiences with very expensive drugs is that invariably they come with "patient assistance programs" which pay a portion of the patient's responsibility. These programs are funded by foundations funded by the pharm. company producing the drug. I can only imagine the incentive is that without these programs, many patients wills imply not buy the drug, and with the program the manufacturer gets thousands from the insurance company and only has to pay the individual hundreds for the opportunity, so it is still a net profit. I've seen patient assistance programs that have even helped patients with up to $100,000 in income (for a VERY expensive medication). That being said, it still forces the relatively wealthy to spend 8-10K a year if they cant qualify for assistance. I am curious if the same incentive programs would apply for a curable or illness where the insurance companies won't likely be paid long term. Unfortunately it appears the future of pharmaceuticals is for manufacturers to charge as much as possible and then give money on the back end to help a portion of the patients actually afford it. It makes for additional bureaucracy in an already red tape laden system.

KFS to Elliot

No Elliot, that is not my solution. I may not be all that smart, but I am definitely not an idiot.

Elliot

How about making all pharmaceutical companies utilities, cap their profits, pass a law that makes marketing and advertising drugs illegal, and then wait ten years to see how many people died because drug development came to a halt. Is this your answer to high drug costs?

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