Saturday, October 24, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Drug Companies, Drug Prices and Generic to Over-the-Counter

What if the politico mantra of vilification of drug prices ends as no more than standard political dupery and nitwitery? How so?

"Several of these middle-class tax changes impact tax-free accounts called Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, Americans could use HSAs or FSAs to pay for over-the-counter drugs tax-free. The ACA
prohibits the use of these accounts for over-the-counter drugs, which is effectively a tax increase." - Obamacare: Proof That Democrats Will Tax the Middle Class, Hadley Heath, 10/16/2015 (1)

Heath is correct. However she is entering the argument in the middle. How so? Ponder the following:

(1) although the development of new drugs is full of dead ends and a highly expensive endeavor, particular politicos and their ilk vilify drug makers,

(1a) the vilification side steps the high price tag regarding drug development and merely concentrates on the "high price" as a debate point,

(2) the politico manta associated with #1 and #1a above leads to an argument string wanting drugs to quickly go generic as the price will be lower and hence fits well into the debate line of particular politicos vilifying drug makers,

(3) to mitigate the trumpeted "high prices" legislation is enacted regarding flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts (tax qualified and tax free vehicles that can be used to buy drugs among other health-care purchases to reduce price to the consumer),

(4) from time to time, not always, an initially full price prescription drug runs the gambit in that it goes generic and finally becomes an over-the-counter offering e.g. Zantac, Mylanta, Claritin,

(4a) when a once prescription drug, vilified as too high in price, runs the gambit to over-the-counter, the price has been reduced to its lowest level which one would perceive to be to the liking of, and hence the ultimate rosy outcome of, those debaters making "high price" as a debate point/argument point,

(5) Nay, nay! Now that the price has fallen to its lowest point (over-the-counter) those riding the charging stallion of "high price" and dispensing their beneficence far and wide.....deploy political dupery and nitwitery and raise the price of the now lowest price point by withdrawing the tax qualified and tax free vehicles in relation to over-the-counter purchases.
Hence the "price is too high" mantra regarding drugs is only too high when its not too low. Pure political dupery and nitwitery. Sweet!

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