A Michigan family goes to Canada for insulin. Will a drug import law help?

prayer

Jim Lockwood leads the family of 10 in prayer before dinner on Monday. Three of Jim and Rachael Lockwood’s eight children have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. (Bridge photo by Daytona Niles)

GOWEN—The smell of teriyaki chicken fills Rachael Lockwood’s tidy home as she lines up a half-dozen insulin products, bottles and glucose monitors on the family’s kitchen counter.

There are biscuits to finish, a table to set and homework to start for the family’s eight children. As Lockwood turns to a cutting board, she glances at a series of three-digit numbers on her phone — sent from glucose monitors taped to the arms of two of her boys.  

On this January afternoon, 12-year-old Brady’s sugar is running low and 8-year-old Cyrus’ is sky high. A third child – 17-year-old Joci – monitors her own sugar levels.

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the three children rely on precise insulin  measurements. “The margin for error is so minute,” Lockwood said, sliding strawberries into a bowl. “The slightest misdose can kill them.”

ouch

Brady Lockwood, 12, reacts the moment an insulin pump is injected into his bloodstream before dinner. (Bridge photo by Daytona Niles)

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The Lockwoods, who live in Gowen north of Grand Rapids, were rattled two years ago when Michigan’s Medicaid changed its formulary, so Novolog insulin was no longer covered. When Rachael tried to fill the prescriptions, the cost had gone from nothing to about $600 for about a month’s supply for each child.

So the Lockwoods joined a stream of Michiganders crossing into Canada to buy drugs at a deep discounts  — just $71 for five Novolog PenFills that cost about $600 in the U.S., she said.

Two bills pending in Lansing aim to put the Lockwoods and others closer to getting deeply discounted Canadian drugs they now get only by driving to Canada or finding Canadian pharmacies willing to refill by mail order, which presents legal as well as logistical challenges.  

The bills are drawing pushback on a variety of fronts, most predictably from drugmakers who say they worry about the quality of drugs that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Critics include some Democrats and others who say the U.S. should focus more on lowering domestic drug prices than on trying to secure discounts from other countries. 

But the biggest obstacle may come from Canadians, themselves, who already face drug shortages, which they say would be exacerbated by opening exports to the far larger U.S. market. 

It’s simple math, said John Adams, the board chairman of Best Medicines Coalition, a Canadian coalition of patient organizations.

“We could give you all of our medicines, and we would suffer, and we would die prematurely,” he told members of the Michigan House Health Policy Committee last month.

drawer

A kitchen drawer helps Jim and Rachael Lockwood, of Gowen, organize insulin for three of their children who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. (Bridge photo by Daytona Niles)

Michigan’s two-bill proposal, introduced by state representatives Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) and Steven Johnson (R-Wayland), would establish an importation program under a until-now unused 2003 federal law. That law authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow pharmacists and wholesalers to import drugs from Canada.

Federal officials put the law back into play in July when they told individual states they could submit plans to import drugs from Canada. The plans must show how states will ensure drugs are imported safely and at a cost saving.

Vermont and Florida were the first to file “concept” paperwork in advance of formal proposals, according to the National Academy for State Health Policy, which has provided model legislation for states. Federal and state oversight offices and federal laws already offer a framework for the safe import of drugs, said Jennifer Reck, who tracks state efforts for the organization.

In Lansing, Brann and Johnson’s legislation would set into motion a Michigan plan.

“We truly live in a global marketplace now, and that's good for consumers,” Johnson told the House Health Policy Committee in December. “But there is one glaring exception here, and that's with prescription drugs.” 

Johnson

Republican State Rep. Steven Johnson from Wayland says allowing imported drugs from Canada fuels a free market that eventually will drive down costs for U.S. consumers. (Courtesy photo)

Johnson argued that by expanding to drug markets outside the U.S., “it puts a downward pressure on price and upward pressure on quality.”

The price of prescription drugs undoubtedly will be a focal point of discussions in Lansing and elsewhere this year, as presidential campaigns swing through the state.

President Trump has promised to bring down prescription drug prices, and  Democrats have long assailed the costs of U.S. medical care and drugs. 

For her part, Rachael Lockwood climbed on a bus last July with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate for president, as they and others drove to Canada to underscore the cost differences in drug prices across the border.

At the Michigan House health policy committee hearing in December, members of AARP Michigan helped pack the room, also applying pressure for change.

Nationally, AARP has estimated that 28 percent of U.S. adults 19 to 64 years old skip medications because of the cost. In Michigan, the problem may be more acute; AARP estimates the 32 percent of Michigan adults — nearly 1 in 3 — forgo medications due to cost.

Given the rising number of Americans crossing into Canada for cheaper drugs, a state law that simplifies that process would seem to make sense. Except, experts say, it isn’t quite that simple. 

Adams, of the Canadian patient coalition, notes that his country is known for its generosity.

“If it were within our wherewithal to share our prescription drug supply with you, we would certainly do so,” he said. 

But “Canadians are not responsible for U.S. drug prices. Your drug prices need a Made-in-America solution.” 

monitor

Rachael Lockwood places a new glucose monitor in the arm of her 8-year-old son, Cyrus, who has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, at their home in Gowen. (Bridge photo by Daytona Niles)

Angelique Berg, CEO of the nonprofit Hypertension Canada, made a similar point. She noted that untreated hypertension kills without symptoms, attacking organs over time, leading to strokes and heart attack, she said.

Five million Canadians take medications to keep their hypertension in check, she told Bridge Magazine. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 75 million Americans suffer from the condition. 

“You can import all of our drugs and it will not help you,” Berg said. But large exports to the U.S. would bring Canadians “back to times of shag carpets and orange lamps when people would just drop dead of heart attacks.”

Research studies in the U.S. suggest that drug importation programs oversimplify the problem and would lead to few, if any, savings for  consumers.

A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that U.S. consumers would see “at most a modest reduction” in costs if the U.S. were to allow drug imports from other countries. Further, consumers’ savings would be “negligible” if the U.S. were to import from Canada only, according to the report’s authors. 

They argued that drug distribution and sales fall outside the normal rules of a free-market economy because of strict patent rules and drugmakers’ ability to redistribute their product globally. For example, drugmakers can choke imports in the U.S. by tying low drug prices in other countries to promises by those countries that they won’t export to the U.S., they wrote.

In December, Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) questioned Johnson and Brann about the wisdom of turning to Canada rather than tackling drug prices within U.S. borders.

“We want what they have, but we’re not willing to set up health care systems that do what they do. I’m concerned we’re looking to another country to solve [our] problem,” she said.

Rachael Lockwood said she shares those concerns. This isn’t about shortages in the U.S., she said. It’s about consumers being priced out of reach.

Lockwood recalled her shock when presented with the $600 charge for Novolog back in 2018. “Even the pharmacist thought it was a mistake,” she said.  

She acknowledges there were other insulin brands that Medicaid would cover. But Novolog offered the most precise dosing — a critical benefit with children whose blood sugar is kept in check with tiny amounts of insulin, she said.

Lockwood said she doesn’t know if government-sanctioned, large-scale importation like that suggested in Brann’s and Johnson’s bills is the answer. But, she said, something needs to give.

“We live in the so-called greatest country on the earth, but people still have to travel outside the U.S. just to get something that’s readily available at their local pharmacy.”

“I feel like I’m being price-gouged,” she said.

Many families face similar financial strains.  

Even those with insurance that cover prescription costs are facing sticker shock as plans shift to higher-deductibles, said Brett Gingrich, pharmacy director of Grand Rapids-based Cherry Health, the state’s largest federally-qualified health center (FQHC), a clinic subsidized to offer low- and no-cost care to the state’s under- and uninsured.

That means insurance kicks in only after the consumer first exhausts thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs, he said.

Gingrich

Even consumers accustomed to robust health coverage face sticker shock on drugs when insurance plans shift to high deductibles, said Brett Gingrich, pharmacy director at Grand Rapids-based Cherry Health, which offers assistance to consumers struggling to pay for medications. (Bridge photo by Robin Erb)

In his tiny, windowless office at the Grand Rapids center, Gingrich’s desk holds neat stacks of papers that include printouts of drug prices as well as news reports on consumers’ struggles to pay them. The staff at the Cherry Health pharmacies, he said, tell him it’s not unusual for patients to cry when they hear the cost of their meds, even at the discounted prices that Cherry Health offers through financial assistance as an FQHC.

“The more you look at it,” Gingrich said, “the more frustrated you get.”

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Holly Democrat, noted that her own father, Curt, traveled to Canada to save money on heart medicine. She co-sponsored the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act to help individuals more easily access drugs from Canada. Such efforts can help hold prices for some consumers temporarily. But she said looking to other countries is a “Band-Aid approach” to a problem that needs a long-term solution.

Slotkin

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, (D-Holly), has been meeting with patients and providers in Ingham, Livingston and Oakland counties to discuss the costs of medical care and prescription drugs prices. On Thursday, she met with leaders of VINA Community Dental Center in Brighton. (Bridge photo by Robin Erb)

Slotkin also was among the co-sponsors of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would allow the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to negotiate the price of up to 250 of the most expensive drugs each year, specifically those with no generic alternatives.

Under the proposal, which passed the House of Representatives but stalled in front of an unwelcoming Senate, drug costs can not exceed 120 percent of the average price of the same drugs in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. If such information is not available, the measure would cap drug costs at 85 percent of the average U.S. manufacturer price.  These new negotiated prices would be used in the private market and in Medicaid as well. The bill also would specifically require the federal government to negotiate the price of insulin.

That plan, too, may not solve the problem. 

The Congressional Budget Office suggested that the plan will lower prices for some drugs in the short term, but eventually shift costs to other drugs in the U.S. and other countries. Plus, smaller profits for drug makers over the long-term could stifle research and development which, in turn, could mean fewer new drugs on the market in years to come.

But Brann and Johnson take the position that President Trump’s effort to import Canadian drugs is poised to succeed in a free-market system. 

“Trade is mutually beneficial,” Johnson told Bridge. “Opening up the American prescription drugs market to their manufacturers —  (Canada) would want to shut that off? They would want to ignore the greatest economy in the world? 

“I don't buy that for a second. When those markets start opening up, they’re going to want to play.”

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Comments

Matt
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 8:08am

Like it or not the US consumer covers almost the entire R&D costs for the whole world's drug needs. Sure, it stinks, but be careful what you wish for.

Sad Doctor
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:43am

Matt, you are not correct. US taxpayers cover almost the entire R&D costs for the whole world's drug needs. Taxes pay for grants to universities that do the research. The researchers are typically very underpaid professionals who come here from other countries and spend countless hours in windowless labs performing the research. Then Big Pharma takes their work that is arguably extremely exploitative and sells it at exorbitant prices back to the US taxpayers with unwarranted patents to exclude competition. It is corporate welfare. The researchers usually work for about a dollar an hour and can't complain because they need their jobs, letters of recommendation, etc. Don't bury your head in the sand. Have a conscience. That is what I wish for.

kazoo86
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 12:00pm

Reading a prior comment, the federal government, pay universities and to develop drugs. Why don’t the universities get the profits. Appears big pharma is a marketing firm. Ouch!

duane
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 8:20pm

I wonder how you learned this, the limited contact I have had with pharma industry, was populated by many American born and educated professionals from research through manufacturing and selling. They were highly skilled and committed and were competitively paid [they were able to work for whomever was willing to meet their expectations]. There were also foreign born professionals, but far less then what you might find on staff or in classrooms at Michigan universities, such Wayne State and others, and they were available to the same competitive market their peers are.

What is more concerning than price is availability, if the Canadians are concerned about selling insulin to Americans, that suggests there is potentially a world wide supply problem. If price controls [to lower patient cost] are driving out suppliers [how manufacturers are there today, one, two, three?], with litigation costs [even when the medication is well proven, lawsuits can be filed], with ever increasing requirements on practices and equipment for manufacturing [most likely appropriate] raising costs, what is there to prevent a manufacturer from stopping operations when costs exceed revenues?
Shouldn't we be talking about how to ensure there is a sufficient and sustainable supply?

Matt
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 9:57pm

Sorry doc but in our firm's substantial experience we're amazed how little of actual use comes out of the U's when it comes down to taking basic science to a place where it can be monetized. We hire some of their students and occasionally a prof , the bulk of our development comes from collaboration with other firms and saying we take their stuff and make a bunch of money off it is nonsense.

middle of the mit
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 8:56pm

Who wished that Americans would pay for the R&D costs for the rest of the world? The only people I can think of that wished that are the very people profiteering off of it, the Pharma bros.

This is the only country in the world where the manufacturers are allowed to profiteer off the consumer. So in that sense; "it's free markets and if you aren't willing to pay the market price, what is your life worth to you". That is conservative talk.

Do you have shares in the pharma market? It might be something you wished for, but not the rest of us.

And we all suffer for the profits of a few.

duane
Sun, 01/26/2020 - 5:38pm

Why do you think government agencies aren't in the for front of pharmaceutical development, they are preoccupied with not taking risks and being accountable, they have a culture of status quo. The reason the US has the creativity is that our individual culture is about personal responsibility and trying/developing the new and untried to improve their lot, about individual creativity, about the willingness to take risks, the willingness to be held accountable, the willingness to sacrifice for change.
My best guess is that you lack experience in what it takes to move an idea from conception to broad use, the knowledge and skills necessary to create the idea, to covert the idea to an actual drug, doing all the testing and government reviews for certification [which drugs often fail], drug purification methods once synthesized and the related regulations, the need to defend the drug against litigations and from competitors, to encourage people to try the new treatments.
I wonder if you have considered the conflict of interests that would exist if the government developed/manufactured drugs and regulated the drugs and the development/manufacturing processes.
It seems the only thing acceptable to you is for others to give everything to you for free and those doing all the work and investment and risk themselves into improving medical care be damned. Have you every asked one of the researchers what it took to be able to create a new drug, or one of those that produce a quality medication, or even those that educate the medical professionals about the drugs, and even the lawyers that have to defend the use of the drugs?
The profits you so easily condemn are the lifeblood of any business, and even any organization for without money in excess of cost every organization goes into debt and will ultimately fail and the products and services provide disappear. Iin most organizations the cost rise every year increasing the need for money carried forward until prices can be adjusted.
Even the drug ads are beneficial to society, with all the information about the side affects they also make people aware of medical conditions that many are unaware of.

I call BS
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 10:02am

Just because you keep repeating that tired lobbyist BS doesn't make it true. Your way has led to mediocre care and more than double the healthcare expenses in the US versus other developed countries.

"My Best Guess" LOL
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 10:22am

"My Best Guess" LOL Keep guessing. Facts don't matter, right? "Even the drug ads are beneficial to society, with all the information about the side affects they also make people aware of medical conditions that many are unaware of." Hilarious, they pay for unnecessary commercials on TV to promote unnecessary newly branded drug and tell you to see the side affects in such and such magazine. So much wasted money, one corporate hand washing another, stealing precious healthcare dollars.

duane
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 4:26pm

LOL,
You must have be very well informed to be aware of all the conditions associated the advertised drugs and all the mentioned side affects, I have not been and now am a user of one of those medications. The advertisement for the new drug I use actually help me be more engaged, asking questions, when the doctor recommended it.
I learned a long time ago not to judge how people spend their money, they have different knowledge then I have so I can't be sure what is wasteful. My best guess, since I don't know, that most advertising is a cost effective way to reach those that are potential customers, so just because an ad doesn't apply to me doesn't make it ineffective or a waste of money for those paying for the ad. While at a former employer I was surprised to see branding advertisement by the company since we have few consumer products, and then I saw how it was used by employees, mentioned by suppliers, facility neighbors, and even by some at a government agency. That changed by view of how ads can reach farther and in different ways than the we may realize. It is much like offering an idea on Bridge rather then denigrating what others say, it can be simply by like 'Johnny Appleseed' dropping seeds/ideas and encouraging them to grow. Where you say the ads are wasteful, I would like to hear why you think they are wasteful, what criteria do you use to judge how other spend their money, who should decide how others spend their money.

middle of the mit
Fri, 01/31/2020 - 8:39pm

Duane,
You really can't be that naive can you? I guess you can.

I am going to address you "idea of personal responsibility and willingness to be held accountable". The whole legal system is hell bent on making sure that corporations don't have to take personal responsibility or be held accountable. Isn't that what tort reform is all about? Isn't that why when you go in to a doctors office or have to have surgery that you have to sign a waiver that says the doctor is NOT to be held liable for things that go wrong? Isn't that the same for every contract that you have to sign with a corporate entity?

If you go to a mechanic and they screw up and it damages your car, your mechanic is held liable. Not so for doctors. Were bankers ever held to account for dividing up loans, conglomerating them together bad with good loans and then selling off to who knows where or to whom? NO. You blamed homeowners.

The pharma bros are Martin Shkreli. You know, the ones that don't create new drugs. The ones that buy up generic companies, and then take an epipen from $100 to $600. Is there any added value? Or how about insulin prices? They did the same thing to that drug.

And no, I don't lack the skillz to bring an idea from conception to broad use, I have been doing that most of my life, just not with drugs. You would probably be surprised to know that a lot of ideas come from your average everyday employee informing their employer on a way to do something easier or faster. Some are adopted others aren't.

And you think I want everything for free? Your party is the one that doesn't want to pay workers that do the work to be paid what they need in todays society because you tell us that wages will make the price of everything go up, but you relish in prices going up and into your stock portfolio and the CEO's pockets.

[[[I wonder if you have considered the conflict of interests that would exist if the government developed/manufactured drugs and regulated the drugs and the development/manufacturing processes.]]]

First, I never called for nationalization of the Pharma bros. And second, Aren't Republicans the ones telling us we don't need the Feds to regulate because self regulation is the end all be all? Is there a conflict of interest there? Careful what you say. Your talking point might end up hitting you in the head.

Hope you don't mind paying for shareholder value and over research to end up with a viagra but hopefully you won't need one of those drugs that cost over $22,000 per month.

It's just amazing how conservatives will justify prices for medicine but you can't do it for roads or workers or anything you hold stock in that might take away from your bottom line and help those that made that medicine, road or car that you are using. Go figure.

And to the drug ads? They don't help. They help "self diagnose" and some people go into their doctor and find out that isn't anything they have. It's like the way that you think that offering everyone care will cause waiting lines because people will go to the doctor because it is like getting something for free? Which is a lie, because most people don't like going to the doctor unless they have to. But then there are hypochondriacs, and that is who those ads are targeting.

Have fun with your high priced drugs. There are Americans who die everyday because they can't afford what the free market tells them their life is worth.

Now that is pro life!

Robert Christiansen
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 8:21am

Dateline should be GOWEN, Michigan, not Gowan.

Monica Williams
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 3:39pm

Thank you for the eagle eye!

Linda Falstad
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 9:12am

Have you checked the patient assistance program for the manufacturer? My mom gets her insulin free through Lilly Cares.

mom of 2
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 10:18am

Trump promised he was going to get Mexico to pay for his wall and he promised to not touch Social Security and Medicare..we now know who is paying for the wall and in the last few days he has said he will probably have to cut both SS and Medicare or as Trump calls them "entitlements" Do you honestly think he has any plans to cut drug prices? He tells people what they want to hear to get him elected and now possibly re-elected. Most of the big wigs in Washington have their dollars invested in drug companies. Why would any of them have any interest in eating into their profits by lowering the cost for the working class? Never going to happen on Trump's watch, never

Bingo!
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 10:15am

You are spot on. We the People, taxpayers, have to pay for Trump's wall, even though Trump promised us Mexico would pay for it. The unscrupulous republicans who post here are nothing but greedy unpatriotic enablers who are enrich themselves by spreading lies.

Careful Reader
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 10:18am

Although your story has merits and I agree that our pharmaceutical companies are literally raping patients in this country, the story you used to exhibit the problems has holes. Novolog is not the only Fast-Acting Insulin; Humalog is another and it appears to be covered on the state formulary list. Your story talks about the family purchasing Penfills, but the photo of Brady indicates that he is using an insulin pump, maybe one of their other children use the Pen instead of a pump? Having some prior knowledge with an insulin-dependent spouse who uses an Insulin Pump, and a continuous glucose monitor like what was depicted here my spouse was recently switched to a different fast-acting insulin by our insurance company’s formulary list we can empathize with this family, but to make your point your story seems to be inconsonant.

Sad Doctor
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 11:36am

As a physician in private practice for over 12 years, I successfully endured the great recession, doing better every year, until the Trump presidency. Since 2016, business has been going down for not only my practice, but most of my colleagues. So much so that 2019 is the first year ever that my practice actually lost money. I can't cover the costs. Now I have to consider closing shop.

Just as the article says, insurance companies have been raising co-pays, deductibles, and premiums. They are refusing to cover costs to physicians and crucial medicines. I blame President Trump and the GOP in particular for taking away the Affordable Care Act mandates, requiring everyone to have insurance and allowing insurance companies to cover less. The effect has created all the problems that didn't exist before the Trump presidency. Health insurance costs more than ever and, just as the article describes, Americans are merely dying needlessly because they can't afford to see physicians or purchase their required medicines.

Some people think it will never happen to them, just poor people, obese people, people of color, etc., until it does in fact affect someone they love. Then they rationalize that it's just fate or God's will. Heaven forbid we look at the wrongful and cruel policies based in greed. Now I know that President Trump with join the Pro-Life marchers to get their support, at the same time, he does not care about the children in the article who cannot afford their medicine. I feel so sorry for them and their parents who probably can't sleep at night wondering how to care for their sick children. Imagine their fear, guilt, anger, sadness, hopelessness, desperation. They have to feeling all those things to consider going to Canada for answers while living in the supposed "Greatest Country in the World" during the allegedly best economy ever. Meanwhile President Trump never misses an opportunity to rail against our greatest ally and neighbor, Canada.

As a physician, I can say this economy has hurt not only the poor, working poor, but also many people who thought they were in the "middle class", myself included, someone who took pride in providing not only compassionate healthcare, but jobs. I kept an open mind about President Trump, even though I always suspected he was full of himself, a poor businessman who inherited his wealth and squandered it. Unlike him, I didn't inherit anything. I built my business on my own.

He said to African Americans, "What do you have to lose?" He said he was going to improve upon Obamacare and make it better and cheaper. Well, you can buy some cheaper insurance now, but it doesn't cover you when you need it. It's a big fat illusion, just like, well, you know, the guy who filed bankruptcy owning a casino! Everyone knows in casinos, the house always wins more than loses. It's fixed that way.

What do you have to lose, America? Well, you are starting to see it now. Like the article says, Medicaid used to cover the medicine for free, but now it cost $600 a month per child. Last night on the news, I heard that President Trump wants to cut entitlements like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Why? We just gave tax cuts to the richest segment of American. Yet I a physician have endured losses as a result. We are told the economy is so great, then why do we have to make entitlement cuts? Shouldn't the supposedly great economy be able to contribute more to the programs so many of President Trump's supporters use?

As a country, are we so blinded by gun rights and hatred for abortion, gays, and independent women, that we don't see we are ruining our health and the health of our children, compounded by the destruction of our environment?

My only hope is that Americans vote for change and elect a Democrat, anyone running against President Trump. I hate to see the Democrats eating each other, especially Warren and Sanders. They are the ones who truly understand the problems and offer the best solutions. Americans are so used to settling that they don't realize they are being played by the corporate welfare queens that are the true rich "elites", not the people with college education who are spending most of their lives trying to repay school loans.

God bless Slotkin and other Democrats who care. We see that without them, Americans can kiss away the benefits of the ACA that most Americans love, standing against the abilities for insurance companies to charge higher for or dump patients with preexisting conditions or impose limited lifetime benefits.

Put yourselves in the shoes of the family in this article. I bet they don't feel like they are living in the "greatest" country in the world during the "greatest economic times". Sorry for the long post, but I hope at least some supporters of the president, moderate republicans, independents, and conservative democrats, read it with an open mind and heart. We can do way better as individuals with any of the democrats running.

Most of us are not invested heavily in the stock market casino and those numbers mean little. Ask yourself this, how healthy is the water I drink and do I know anyone battling cancer? Be selfish, invest in the health of yourself and your family.

Al Simon
Tue, 02/04/2020 - 10:03am

If you look it up on even the left leaning Snopes it say's Trump would not consider cutting Social Security benefits. It was a Republican senator who was proposing this. And I question whether your even a doctor but a person suffering from TDS. And Democrats can't run a caucus let alone a health care system.

Linda
Fri, 01/24/2020 - 5:46pm

I don't even for a minute buy into Brann and Johnson's "position that President Trump’s effort to import Canadian drugs is poised to succeed in a free-market system. " In a free-market system, wouldn't those Canadian drug companies simply raise their prices to the prevailing level of US prices? Of course they would.

Importing drugs from Canada is not the answer.

Agree
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 10:26am

In a free market, companies would pay for their own R&D, not rely on grants from taxpayers. That's corporate welfare.

Anna
Wed, 01/29/2020 - 8:58am

The problem with this whole idea is that Canada doesn’t even manufacture 20% of their own drugs. Canada imports their drugs from the same global suppliers as Americans.

Truth Hurts
Mon, 01/27/2020 - 9:58am

Go to any university research lab and you will see that they are staffed primarily with student volunteers and highly trained foreigners who are woefully underpaid, base on the hours they are forced to work, with taxpayer-funded grants. Big Pharma then monetized the results. It's the truth that Big Pharma and it's minions who post here don't want you to know.