Can we control rising healthcare costs?

  • Drug companies indicate that price increases are coming in 2019 adding more fuel to the fire for “Medicare for all”.
  • The average American is heavier than at the start of the 21st Century — and very close to being obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control data on body metrics.
  • Nearly three in 10 Americans are delaying healthcare treatments because of their cost, a Gallup survey said Monday.
  • More than one-third of women in the U.S. report skipping needed medical care because of costs, a far higher rate than the other countries included in the study.
  • After climbing modestly between 2011 and 2016, average premiums for employer health plans rose sharply in 2017.
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Healthcare: Americans are paying more for less

  • The American healthcare system is a hellish tangle of bureaucracy, with various  inefficiencies and injustices.
  • A sensible healthcare system would have done something about for-profit drug companies who continually raise prices.
  • America already pays enough to fund two generous universal healthcare systems for its citizenry.

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The focus on drug prices ignores the real issue for healthcare costs

  • The overall diabetes rate in the U.S. adult population is growing, up from 10.8% in 2008-2009 to 11.5% in 2016-2017.
  • The rate increase has resulted in about 1.7 million more Americans with diabetes diagnoses now than would have been the case had the rate not changed since 2008-2009.
  • Even more alarming is that obesity, a key risk factor in the development of type 2 diabetes, has climbed by 2.3 points since 2008-2009, to reach 28.3% nationally in 2016-2017.

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Ten companies controlled half of the health care industry’s $50 billion of global profits 9 of those 10 companies at the top are pharma firms

  • Americans spend a lot more money on hospital and physician care than prescription drugs, but pharmaceutical companies pocket a lot more of than other parts of the industry. (Source: Axios)
  • 63% of the profit total went to drug companies, even though they collected 23% of the revenue
  • Pfizer had the highest profit total ($4.1 billion) of any publicly traded health care company in the third quarter.
  • Of the 19 companies that tallied at least $1 billion of third-quarter profit, 14 were drug companies.

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Change is going to be forced on big pharma

  • Republicans have indicated that they are willing to work with democrats on drug pricing initiatives.
  • Drug companies are focusing lobbying efforts to use a possible lame-duck session of Congress to peel back a legislative loss they suffered earlier this year.
  • Pharma is making a lobbying push to roll back seniors’ drug discounts at a time when they are reporting near record profits.
  • So far in 2018, PhRMA spent more than $20 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and was the third-largest spender.

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Today healthcare is on the ballot but pharma isn’t listening

  • 62 percent of cancer patients report being in debt due to their treatment.
    55 percent accrue at least $10,000 in debt, while 3 percent file for bankruptcy.
  • Almost 700,000 people in the U.S. declare bankruptcy due medical bills.
  • American’s are sick and tired of a healthcare system that costs too much and provides too little.

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Pharma at war with Azar?

  • [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]After reporting a 45% increase in quarterly profit Pfizer said “it’s business as normal”.[/inlinetweet]
  • Drug companies have made clear that they’ll never voluntarily reduce prices.
  • The pharma industry has spent more than $216 million on lobbying this year.
  • “Telling companies to voluntarily lower their prices and expecting it to happen on a consistent basis is not a realistic long-term policy proposition,” said Anthony T. LoSasso, a professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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