The Washington Post said it so it must be true

  • by: |
  • 11/02/2006
The Washington Post gets it.

Big Time.

And just in time.

Here's the first paragraph of an editorial from today's paper:

An Election on Drugs
The Democrats oversell a Medicare solution.
Thursday, November 2, 2006; Page A16

ONE OF the Democrats' election talking points is a promise to revamp the Medicare prescription drug benefit. They paint the 2003 legislation as a sellout to pharmaceutical firms: Rather than having Medicare officials use the government's bargaining power to keep drug prices down, the law left the job of negotiating prices to private insurers. The Medicare drug benefit has actually turned out to be cheaper than projected, and most beneficiaries say they are satisfied with it. But the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), nonetheless accuses Republicans of "putting pharmaceutical companies and HMOs first at the expense of America's seniors."

And here's the last graph:

It's fair to object that consumers may not be equipped to make smart decisions; the market signals they send may reflect the success of gauzy drug commercials rather than clinical evidence. The attraction of the market-based model depends on consumers being guided more by science-based Web sites created by universities or other groups. It's an open question whether consumers, led perhaps by their insurers, will learn to make sophisticated drug choices, but the fact that Medicare patients already buy more generic medications than other Americans is an encouraging sign of the capacity for smart purchasing. A switch to government purchasing of Medicare drugs would choke off this experiment before it had a chance to play out, and it would usher in its own problems. For the moment, the Democrats would do better to invest their health-care energy elsewhere.

To read the entire editorial, go to

Will someone with Nancy Pelosi's e-mail address please forward this article to her office ASAP.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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