Wednesday, February 1, 2017

This is your emperor on drugs

Sorry, I couldn't help that.

Image via Weed News.
I was pretty startled to hear this read of Trump's meeting with the pharmaceuticals executives yesterday from the APM Marketplace Morning Report:
So the president said the word, that drug prices are "astronomical" and the implication is he's going to work to make them go down. Do you see an emerging alliance here between the president of the United States and Democrats in Congress who might also want drug prices to go down?
No, there is not an emerging alliance between the Trump and the Democrats on drug prices. The opposite is the case. In the early part of the campaign, a year or so ago, when Trump was making friendly noises about the traditional Democratic proposal to use Medicare to force drug prices down, you could have imagined an alliance of that type, if you were naive enough, like the chuckleheads on Matketplace, to believe anything that fucker says, but not after yesterday. That word "astronomical" was the last gasp of this sweet hope as it drowned.

What's emerging is that Trump wrongly believes Medicare is already negotiating prices with drug companies, "which is what's happening", and he's against it, in the most traditional market-fairy Republican style, as "price fixing". Having met with the Pharma executives, he's decided to lower drug prices in the US by the means of tax cuts and deregulation. Or, putting it in English, he's decided to let them continue to rob us blind while virtually all the countries in the rest of the world are able to do something about it (as Republicans and their lobbyist friends have been working tirelessly to ensure since the passage of Medicare Part D in 2003 and through the passage of the ACA until today).

Vox quoting the president's relevant words:
I'll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market. That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what's happening. But we can increase competition and bidding wars, big time.
So what I want, we have to get lower prices, we have to get even better innovation and I want you to move your companies back into the United States. And I want you to manufacture in the United States. We're going to be lowering taxes, we're going to be getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary.
Repeat after me:

Donald J. Trump is a typical Republican.

Wait, no, there is something different. He did something Mitch McConnell would never do: he said drug prices are "astronomical"!
"US drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical for our country, we have to do better," Mr Trump told them in the meeting."
He won't do anything to lower drug prices, you see, but he will make the gesture of ordering them to do it. He'll issue an imperial ukaz: We have to do better!

And that's all his followers, and the deeply nonpartisan fellows at Marketplace, need to hear. Emperor Trump, friend of the people, is on the case! Something is probably bound to happen, sometime! Rejoice!

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