I’m proud to say that my great-great grandfather fought for the Union during the Civil War. In fact he gave a leg to the cause. And like many Americans out there, my sympathies lie with the Blue, rather than the Grey when it comes to history, re-enactments, books or the Ken Burns television series.
Setting aside for today the discussion of whether or not the South had it coming in terms of karma; the Reconstruction period in the South following the war was marked by the presence of northern opportunists who recognized that there was a great deal of money to be made by taking advantage of the carnage left in the war’s wake.
It sometimes involved land deals, sometimes politics, but it was an effort by a group of people to chisel something out of another group of people who were in no position to do anything about it. These people were known as Carpetbaggers, because their luggage was made from well, carpets.
It would appear that carpetbaggers are still at it, at least in terms of prescription drugs.
For a full list of the drugs that are currently in short supply, you can click here.
Some of the drugs on the list are used in fighting cancer and some are found emergency room crash carts, which could mean that an ER doc may be forced to decide whether or not the latest arrival via ambulance or helicopter needs a particular drug or if he has to save that drug for someone in the future who may “need” it more.
That is no way to do business, and that is no way to provide health care.
Now before you folks on the Left rub your hands together and say “You see! This is why we need Obamacare!” and before you folks on the right shake your head and say “Are you nuts for promoting Obamacare?” let me assure you I am not.
The problem is twofold.
1) Drug companies are scrambling to meet new FDA regulations which slows research and development and drives up costs.
2) Some distributors and the emerging grey market for drugs raise the cost of drugs for hospitals other providers and consumers, apparently because they can. And the grey market is a business that could become more lucrative should healthcare rationing become systemic.
From here in the cheap seats, the answer is very simple: Let the market decide.
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