It’s been a ‘remarkable’ year of drug spending, thanks to Obamacare
The numbers are in and they’re astronomical.
The drug companies pocketed $373.9 billion from American consumers last year.
That’s a $42 billion increase – the largest ever in a single year. That’s more than $1,000 in drugs for every man, woman and child.
The drug companies don’t owe their obscene growth to some hot new medical breakthrough. They owe it to the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Because we’re finally understanding the real cost of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. And it’s clear that, in exchange for Big Pharma’s support, the Obama Administrated handed the drug companies 16.4 million new customers, billions in profits, and your health on a silver platter.
16 million (more) guinea pigs
Big Pharma doesn’t spend a dollar unless it’s guaranteed $10 in return.
And the drug companies didn’t bat an eye when they were asked to pony up $150 million for an ad campaign to help pass Obamacare.
That’s because they knew Obamacare was a winning lottery ticket that was going to keep paying off, year after year.
And, boy, were they right. Just check out these numbers for 2014 alone:
- Johnson & Johnson sales up $3 billion
- Novartis sales up about $1.7 billion
- Roche pharmaceutical sales up $1.5 billion
Obamacare was supposed get tough on the drug companies, stop price gouging, and keep their insane profits in line. But once it became clear that it wouldn’t pass without Big Pharma’s support, the horse trading began.
That’s when the Obama Administration and their pals in Congress offered the drug companies three billion-dollar handouts — all at your expense.
Handout #1: The Department of Health and Human Services was forbidden to negotiate lower drug prices like the rest of the world. Obamacare let Big Pharma continue charging whatever it wanted for drugs in America – which is often several times more than it charges in other countries.
Handout #2: Remember all that talk about allowing you to save money by importing drugs from other countries? An email uncovered by a Congressional inquiry found that the Obama Administration dropped that in exchange for Big Pharma being so “constructive” during talks on passing Obamacare.
Handout #3: The largest billion-dollar prize for Big Pharma is a requirement that all Obamacare plans include prescription drugs (unlike basic Medicare that gives you the option of purchasing a drug plan or not).
You’ll remember Obamacare was supposed to be flexible. States were going to have the freedom to decide which services health plans needed to offer for their citizens.
But what was non-negotiable…what no state could override… were prescription drugs. It was one of only a few federally-mandated “Essential Health Benefits” to get that distinction, along with covering childbirth.
The prescription drug requirement handed Big Pharma 16.4 million (and counting) new customers, and will earn the drug companies billions of dollars for years to come.
Of course, if Obamacare was really about making us healthy, it would pay to help prevent disease instead of shelling out a fortune for prescription meds after we’re already sick.
Obamacare will pay for dangerous and addictive pain, sleep and stomach acid pills. It’s even a cinch to get potentially life-threatening stomach-stapling surgery.
But try to take part in a program that will improve your health and help you lose weight without drugs, and there’s a good chance you won’t be covered.
The only saving grace for the millions now being thrown pills like they’re Mardi Gras beads is that there are plenty of effective, affordable supplements to help you prevent disease. And you don’t need some government health plan to get them.
Things like resveratrol, which studies show has an amazing ability to regulate blood sugar. It’s even been compared to “front line antidiabetic drugs.”
Or vitamin K, which studies have shown can not only completely reversebone loss, but actually increase bone density.
Or the least expensive “preventative medicine” you can get – vitamin D. You can get a lot of what you need just be spending some time outside in the sun.
And, fortunately, our government hasn’t traded away the sun for some TV ads. Not yet.
“Report finds US prescription drug spending jumped to $374B in 2014” Associated Press, April 14, 2015
“What’s fueling drug sales? Obamacare and expensive meds” Aimee Picchi, April 14, 2015, CBS Money Watch, cbsnews.com
“Essential Health Benefits: 50-state variations on a theme” Penn LDI, October 2014, ldi.upenn.edu