Yes, fairer pricing
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Jumping from one manufactured crisis to the next is no way to govern. I suppose it's a way to create the kind of fear and anxiety that can facilitate drastic changes, and I suspect that's why some people in Congress have been doing it for the past few years.
First, we had the "debt ceiling" standoff in the summer of 2011, where a move that had bipartisan support under both Democratic and Republican administrations for the past two decades was suddenly used as leverage in an attempt to force through huge cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
From this standoff came the "sequester," automatic, "meat cleaver" cuts to everything from defense to Medicare to disaster relief that both Democrats and some Republicans recognize would be damaging to our still-recovering economy.
Working families can't take another self-inflicted wound to our economy, and the election showed that voters are tired of this style of "governing." We need smart, responsible solutions that invest in things that will grow the economy and pull back on things that drag it down.
One solution would be to allow Medicare to negotiate affordable drug prices for America's seniors. Right now, big drug companies set the price, leaving seniors and taxpayers on the hook for costs that are 70 percent more than costs in the Veterans Affairs system, where the government does negotiate for fair prices.
Rather than manufacture another crisis, Congress could solve two -- rising drug prices and escalating costs in Medicare -- by giving Medicare the power to negotiate fair prices.
First Published March 7, 2013 12:00 am