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EgyptKang

A Texas teacher just died because of flu

152 posts in this topic

11 minutes ago, Evil Yoda said:

I'm sure there are culpable Democrats as well. But when you ask someone whose constituency consists only of wealthy people, they will tell you the GOP - if they are honest.

If we are all honest, we would hold Democrats equally responsible. 

Pharmaceutical companies have the highest profit margins of any industry, and prescription drug prices are increasing by an average of over 18 percent per year. Well before Trump gave his press conference, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) had crafted a budget resolution designed to rein in medication prices by allowing cheaper, identical versions of prescription drugs to be imported from other countries, including Canada, where medicines are cheaper.

Twelve Republicans voted for the bill ― more than enough to ensure its passage. It failed by a vote of 46 to 52 because 13 Democrats opposed it.

There was a strong correlation between states where the drug industry is concentrated ― such as New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania and Delaware ― and Democratic opposition to Wednesday’s vote. A cynic might conclude that industry influence had something to do with the outcome. Not at all, the Democrats told HuffPost. They were only concerned with patient safety.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-rush-to-prove-trump-right-on-big-pharma_us_5877edd4e4b0b3c7a7b05c29

Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Michael Bennett of Colorado, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Patty Murray of Washington, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

By the way, Cory Booker?  Recipient of pharmaceutical donations. Odd that. I haven't looked at the rest.

Edited by Sprightly

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15 minutes ago, Sprightly said:

The fact is that the teacher could have paid for the treatment and chose not to until it was too late.

I am glad that your medical issue was resolved to your satisfaction.

And I know that I've never had to wait for a sick visit appointment and have always received good care from my primary. And when I've had urgent care needs, I have gone to urgent care centers. And when I've had emergency care (twice), I know to go to the ER. But I also know that an ER is not the place to go for a cold.

Americans are just not quite ready to pay up to 45% of their income in taxes to help support a NHS type system. 

I think that the true fact is that your Big Pharma charges extortionate prices for most of its products.

Your experience of your system sounds essentially much the same as my own.

Your 45% of income figure is quite ridiculous, where ever did you dig up that from? Here are the actual NI rates.

Edited by WKDWZD

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7 minutes ago, WKDWZD said:

I think that the fact is that your Big Pharma charges extortionate prices for som of its products.

Your experience of your system sounds essentially much the same as my own.

Your 45% of income figure is quite ridiculous, where ever did you dig up that from? Here are the actual NI rates.

I said income tax. The NI rates are in addition. And no disrespect intended, but I would imagine that our tax laws are every bit as difficult for you to understand as yours are to me.

https://www.gov.uk/income-tax/how-you-pay-income-tax

https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance/national-insurance-classes

I would swear that both governments do it on purpose.

Edited by Sprightly

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1 hour ago, michiganjoe said:

A little more information would be helpful. Tamiflu is available as a generic and the copay seems a bit out of line.

I agree

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23 minutes ago, Sprightly said:

Twelve Republicans voted for the bill ― more than enough to ensure its passage. It failed by a vote of 46 to 52 because 13 Democrats opposed it.

There was a strong correlation between states where the drug industry is concentrated ― such as New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania and Delaware ― and Democratic opposition to Wednesday’s vote. A cynic might conclude that industry influence had something to do with the outcome. Not at all, the Democrats told HuffPost. They were only concerned with patient safety.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-rush-to-prove-trump-right-on-big-pharma_us_5877edd4e4b0b3c7a7b05c29

I stand corrected. Thanks.

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23 hours ago, Sprightly said:

I said income tax. The NI rates are in addition.

Most Brits only pay up to 20% income tax, after allowances, (on earrnings up to £32,000/yr), those that pay 40% only do so on the next (£32,001 - £150,000/yr) and those that pay 45% only do so on everything over £150,001. If your maths are on a par with mine, you'll be able to figure out that nobody actually pays a full 45% of their income.

Edited by WKDWZD

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1 hour ago, EgyptKang said:

Flu shots that allegedly prevent the flu. People still get sick from Flu shots.  What we are talking about here is the affordability of healthcare AFTER catching the Flu.

Do keep up.  Your post is the fail.....as usual.

The blatant lie in the title and link to a joke of a website made this entire thread a ‘fail’ as you say from the start.   

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43 minutes ago, Sprightly said:

I said income tax. The NI rates are in addition. And no disrespect intended, but I would imagine that our tax laws are every bit as difficult for you to understand as yours are to me.

https://www.gov.uk/income-tax/how-you-pay-income-tax

https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance/national-insurance-classes

I would swear that both governments do it on purpose.

Someone whose taxable income, all from wages, is $100,000 pays 21.1% Federal tax and 7.75% Maryland tax, for a total of just under 29%.

From the NI rate charts and assuming I didn't bungle the calculation, and further assuming a theoretical NI system here that charges the same rates, that person would pay 8.22% for health insurance (assuming a category A employee and not considering the employer contribution, which is more at this pay level). That total is just over 37%. I do not know what employees or employers typically pay for health insurance here, but I pay more than 8.22%. I don't benefit from something employers do, which is quantity discounts. I also don't know what the NHS is like as far as deductibles, co-pays, what it pays for and doesn't, etc. So it is difficult to say whether it is better or worse than what I have. Mine gets both more expensive and worse every year. One thing they do benefit from: if you want to practice medicine in the UK you better take NI. Over here, doctors can (and do) opt out of insurance plans they don't like (with some exceptions, like Johns Hopkins Hospital).

You would have to be making a great deal of money before your total contribution approached 45%. You have to be making around $450,000 (again, wages) before your Federal rate hits 30%, at which point the Maryland rate would be 8.44% for a total of 38.44%. But at that rate the NI payment would be 3.38%; the total would be just under 42%. Sounds like a lot until you realize that guy has $261,000 tax free dollars he can use however he likes.

Edited by Evil Yoda

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12 hours ago, EgyptKang said:

Link please!

Of course!  My pleasure.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/16/donald-trump-reverses-obamas-legally-dubious-execu/

About half way down you'll find this.  

Quote

...ending government subsidy payments to insurance companies under Obamacare (never approved by Congress),...

This executive order to disburse taxpayer money to the big insurance companies was wholly unconstitutional since Congress controls the purse strings.  
In addition to eliminating that, Trump eliminated the government mandate requiring all citizens (except Congress, of course) to buy the insurance products from those companies.  

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5 hours ago, WKDWZD said:

Even on the 'grey market' Tamiflu can be bought for only £23-50 (under $30) over here. Your Big Pharma and insurance companies are robbing you all sideways, and most on here just meekly roll over an say - 'can I have some more, please?'

It is more complicated than that.  Big Pharma spends billions of dollars developing new drugs and if the US adopts the same price controls other countries use, Big Pharma would not bother because they would never recover the development costs before generics are allowed to hit the market.  Those costs are borne by US residents.  But on the margin, Pharma can still make a buck in other countries that don't contribute to the development costs.  You guys pay only the production cost plus some profit margin.  In a sense, (and I do not mean this in a derogatory way) US consumers are subsidizing consumers from other parts of the world. 

We have other inefficiencies due to massive government interference that effectively kills market forces.  Who cares how much things cost if insurance pays for them?  Of course we are horrified at the cost of insurance once a year, but government tied that to our employer using tax policy.  So your employer gets to pick your plan, or maybe give you a couple options.  But even your employer's options are limited by laws against national markets like we have with auto insurance, and so the country is kind of divided up by the insurance companies with only a few in each area.  

Even these comments are a gross oversimplification.  

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6 hours ago, WKDWZD said:

I think your Orange hero may well be responsible for starting WW III. ;)

We always leave that up to you guys and then arrive fashionably late.  ;)

 

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36 minutes ago, jdsample said:

It is more complicated than that.  Big Pharma spends billions of dollars developing new drugs and if the US adopts the same price controls other countries use, Big Pharma would not bother because they would never recover the development costs before generics are allowed to hit the market.  Those costs are borne by US residents.  But on the margin, Pharma can still make a buck in other countries that don't contribute to the development costs.  You guys pay only the production cost plus some profit margin.  In a sense, (and I do not mean this in a derogatory way) US consumers are subsidizing consumers from other parts of the world. 

We have other inefficiencies due to massive government interference that effectively kills market forces.  Who cares how much things cost if insurance pays for them?  Of course we are horrified at the cost of insurance once a year, but government tied that to our employer using tax policy.  So your employer gets to pick your plan, or maybe give you a couple options.  But even your employer's options are limited by laws against national markets like we have with auto insurance, and so the country is kind of divided up by the insurance companies with only a few in each area.  

Even these comments are a gross oversimplification.  

All that might be true if Big Pharma were the only ones developing new drugs, if you believe that, you are either seriously deluded or somewhat confused by carrying that big hubristic bugle around. Many drugs are produced outside of the USA, many medical and scientific advances are made outside of the USA. I could even go so far as to say, if I wanted to be as arrogant, that the USA iis being subsidised by the RotW in some sciences. Big Pharma aren't as altruistic as you paint them to be ,they are not there for the benefit of your health (pun intended) they are there to make a profit and pay their dividends. However, they are also holding many to ransom with their extortionate prices. The reason that I can buy US drugs for a small fraction of the price that you do is because over here there is a true freedom to supply drugs and if the US wants to sell it's suff here, it has to compete. The NHS source their drugs from whoever meets their target price structure, and I can tell you this - Big Pharma does not sell to us at a loss.      

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2 minutes ago, jdsample said:

We always leave that up to you guys and then arrive fashionably late.  ;)

 

I just hope that when you start the next one, we arrive fashionably late, like when it is all over, that'll make a nice change.

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Big Pharma spends most of its money on marketing. If you don't believe this, comparison shop brands vs. generics, even for OTC drugs. Its R&D costs are subsidized by the government. They'd like you to believe that they charge a lot because R&D costs a lot, but that's only partially true. Big Pharma charges a lot more here because the government lets it. For example, Medicare cannot negotiate for better prices. It's forbidden by law. Amazing, huh?

A lot folks cry that socialism could work except that it has never been allowed to - outside forces interfere or the "right people" (whoever they might be) aren't involved. Those same people don't understand that market forces are the same way, just at the other end of the spectrum. The closest the world ever came to pure capitalism is probably Industrial Revolution England. That system worked well if you were rich. It sucked beyond the telling of it if you weren't. What amazes me is the number of people who want that here who aren't rich - they are actually advocating a system that will make their lives worse!

Edited by Evil Yoda

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3 hours ago, Sprightly said:

People do not get sick from the flu shot.

That is what every nurse has told me since I started getting one.  

I suspect the myth that the shot makes you sick was explained to me this year by the nurse who injected me.  

What she told me was (because I think she saw me wiping my nose) that if you are coming down with a cold at the time you get the shot, the shot will make the cold worse.  The reason is that your immune system is distracted from fighting the cold virus and has to "fight" two viruses at the same time.  Even though the flu virus is dead.  

Sure enough I was coming down with a cold but did not want to delay the shot and the cold was somewhat worse than normal.  

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3 minutes ago, Evil Yoda said:

Big Pharma spends most of its money on marketing. If you don't believe this, comparison shop brands vs. generics, even for OTC drugs. Its R&D costs are subsidized by the government. They'd like you to believe that they charge a lot because R&D costs a lot, but that's only partially true. Big Pharma charges a lot more here because the government lets it. For example, Medicare cannot negotiate for better prices. It's forbidden by law. Amazing, huh?

As an example, I can buy, at any supermarket, 16 Ibuprofen 200mg tablets for around 40-50 pence, say 50-60 cents, what do you guys pay for the same?

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2 hours ago, hst2 said:

Indeed, it is a bi-partisan mess, but now, the GOP has all the power so only they can do something about it, and they have decided not to.

You should take a civics course.  All the Democrats in Congress get to vote too.  Every single one of them voted not to fix it.  It only took 2 Republicans to join them and the Democrats succeeded in getting their unanimous opinion enforced.  

BTW, not a single Democrat voted for a middle class tax rate cut either.  The Democrat deficit hawks changed the tune for the budget deal, and forced a bunch of new spending into that deal.  

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2 minutes ago, WKDWZD said:

As an example, I can buy, at any supermarket, 16 Ibuprofen 200mg tablets for around 40-50 pence, say 50-60 cents, what do you guys pay for the same?

At Walmart (likely the least expensive) 24 tablets at that strength cost $0.98. About £0.71 according the Internet. I guess that's 71p? That's for their generic (Equate) brand; if you want branded (Advil) it will run you about $4 for 20 tablets - roughly 4x the cost.

If you want an example of the kind of things Pharma does whenever it can get away with them, hit the web for Martin Shkreli, a piece of... work... if ever there was one. There's also the Epipen controversy; the architect of that was the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). (Epipen is a brand name for an epinephrine injector, which people who have serious allergies carry to fight anaphylaxis. Maybe it's the same name over there, I don't know.)

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14 minutes ago, WKDWZD said:

As an example, I can buy, at any supermarket, 16 Ibuprofen 200mg tablets for around 40-50 pence, say 50-60 cents, what do you guys pay for the same?

A 360-count bottle of Advil at BJ's is $16.49. That's $0.458 per pill, so rounding up to $0.50 is $0.80 for 16 tablets. A generic brand of ibuprofen would likely be cheaper. 

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7 hours ago, WKDWZD said:

Even on the 'grey market' Tamiflu can be bought for only £23-50 (under $30) over here. Your Big Pharma and insurance companies are robbing you all sideways, and most on here just meekly roll over an say - 'can I have some more, please?'

And I would pay 40%+ income tax over there vs around 30% over here .....

I think I'll pay a bit more for a prescription every year or so instead of $10-$20,000 more income tax.....

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3 hours ago, Evil Yoda said:

At Walmart (likely the least expensive) 24 tablets at that strength cost $0.98. About £0.71 according the Internet. I guess that's 71p? That's for their generic (Equate) brand; if you want branded (Advil) it will run you about $4 for 20 tablets - roughly 4x the cost.

If you want an example of the kind of things Pharma does whenever it can get away with them, hit the web for Martin Shkreli, a piece of... work... if ever there was one. There's also the Epipen controversy; the architect of that was the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). (Epipen is a brand name for an epinephrine injector, which people who have serious allergies carry to fight anaphylaxis. Maybe it's the same name over there, I don't know.)

Why would anybody, in their right mind, pay 4 times the price, just for a name?

Epipens are available here are at a fraction of the price you guys pay.

3 hours ago, mlatoman said:

A 360-count bottle of Advil at BJ's is $16.49. That's $0.458 per pill, so rounding up to $0.50 is $0.80 for 16 tablets. A generic brand of ibuprofen would likely be cheaper. 

Overall, it seems that in the ache and pain department, our prices for medication are similar.

Edited by WKDWZD

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56 minutes ago, WKDWZD said:

I just hope that when you start the next one, we arrive fashionably late, like when it is all over, that'll make a nice change.

In all seriousness, I'm not sure there can be an actual world war again.  Cold wars and brushfire wars, but I don't see allied tanks lining up against Russian tanks with plane loads full of smart bombs circling overhead.  The problem is whatever you aim at gets hit and it would be mutual annihilation.  And whoever begins to lose is going to be heavily tempted to up the stakes with tactical nukes, and that could very well lead to strategic nukes.  
With the exception of Korea and Viet Nam, since 1945, it has been war by proxy.  

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4 minutes ago, Evil Yoda said:

See my analysis earlier. A lot of people think they pay more in taxes than they actually do. The GOP, in particular, favors spreading this around because it helps them stir the necessary resentment against the government they loathe.

Are you serious? Those of us who work and file a TAX RETURN every year know what we pay in taxes.

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14 minutes ago, Sprightly said:

Are you serious? Those of us who work and file a TAX RETURN every year know what we pay in taxes.

You might. Did I say "everyone"? :)

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This largely confirms what Evil Yoda has been saying.  They look at the revenue from premium pricing, defined as the difference between the price in the US and other countries.  They compare this added revenue with R&D expenditures and find in most cases the revenue exceeds R&D by a sizable fraction.  The result in most cases is that R&D only accounts for 2/3 to 1/2 of the premium price.  Interestingly, European pharma does the same thing, charging a premium in the US that more than covers their R&D.  

https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20170307.059036/full/

 

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