Here’s a video being distributed by the Louisiana Democratic Party, which was provided to them by a supporter, of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) explaining how he’s supported prescription drug re-importation from Canada, as a means of destroying Canada’s prescription drug system — which he says will cause prices to go up for Canada, and down for America:
Vitter’s economics seem like they might just work — or maybe not. Canada and other countries negotiate lower prices with the drug companies, who then demand exorbitant profits from U.S. consumers and our relatively free market. Arguably, by overwhelming other countries with American demand, their systems would break down. The next step here, is that Vitter believes this will cause prices to go up for everyone else, and down for us. (But we’d be curious what health care economists would say).As Vitter told his questioner, who is apparently an Obama supporter: “I don’t support price controls, but I actually think re-importation would cause that system, as well as these varying prices, to collapse. That make sense?”
Of course, this is assuming the drug companies wouldn’t take advantage of their inelastic demand curves by just jacking up prices for everyone. And really, this whole scheme to destroy other countries’ social welfare programs for American benefit isn’t mighty neighborly of Vitter, is it? Check out the full dialogue after the jump.
Check out the full dialogue:
Vitter: (reading back a question) ‘If socialized medicine is such a bad idea, why do you propose we import medicine from a country that has a socialized health care system?’ I guess you’re talking about Canada, and similar places, Conrad?
Vitter: Well, good question, Conrad. I’m for re-importation not because I wanna import price controls, which Canada has, you’re right. It’s because I believe re-importation will cause the pricing system world-wide that the big drug companies exploit to collapse. Right now the big drug companies are able to charge very different prices in different countries, and of course we pay the highest price of all. If they did that, like they do now, but then we can write off to Canada, and pass certain safety provisions, and get drugs from there – guess what? That system implodes. That system can’t survive. So my ultimate goal, in terms of re-importation, is causing that system to collapse, so there’s a true, world-wide price for a drug. And that might – wouldn’t might – that would increase the cost in Canada, that would dramatically decrease the cost in the US. So that’s where I’m coming from. You want to follow up on that?
Questioner: Okay, um – so Canada, their health care system, they’re doing something right, I guess? So are we taking a page from their book?
Vitter: No, I don’t – again, I don’t support price controls, but I actually think re-importation would cause that system, as well as these varying prices, to collapse. That make sense?