Ask about health care at a summer cookout, and you’ll likely get an earful about how drug corporations are gouging us, leaving many families to choose between buying medications or putting food on the table.
Why? Because corporations put profits before patients.
Look at a corporation like Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, which raked in $480 million in profits last year and paid its chairman $97.6 million, all while raising the price of the medication to more than $600 per dose.
And take Michael Pearson, the former CEO of the drug corporation Valeant, who put it bluntly: “The capitalistic approach to pricing is to charge what the market will bear.”
Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing from people around the country who are terrified that the health care repeal now before Congress will put life-saving medications even further out of reach for them and their families.
From Alaska to Alabama, people are worried sick about being able to get insulin for diabetes, blood pressure drugs, and prescriptions for panic attacks, ovarian cysts, lupus, celiac disease, thyroid cancer, hemophilia, and many other conditions.
I’ve heard from people whose lives depend on medications priced at $6,000 a month or more. If the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid are slashed, they don’t know how they’ll survive.
So it’s understandable that health care repeal is a dud when it comes to public opinion, with the Republican leaders’ bill before Congress garnering support from only 12 percent of voters.
It’s also no surprise that making drugs more affordable is a winning proposition with the electorate. More than 60 percent of Republicans, Democrats, and independents think it should be a top priority for lawmakers to lower the price of prescription …read more