LETTERS: Readers speak out on climate, health care
Re: Recent guest column by U.S. Rep. Randy Weber supporting President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement;
Your Montgomery County pillar of the kamikaze wing of the House GOP contingent has joined that Manhattan millionaire Monday night negotiator sporting six bankruptcies in savaging the Paris accords. Forget the number speculations and ideology he uses as support. Consider history and current events.
When the EPA came into being, industries screamed bloody murder, the same arguments those present. Funny, nobody went under. Instead, Cleveland’s river no longer burned. Lamar coeds’ stockings didn’t dissolve when the refinery wind blew wrong. No Love Canal.
So this might cost some pocket change. It’s the cost of doing business. Mama would say, “You make a mess, you clean it up.” Total will stay, as will BP, Shell and other internationals.
Trump’s own secretary of state, formerly Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, argued for acceptance. So did various business organizations, even Koch Industries. Trump said he was doing this for Pittsburgh, not Paris. Its mayor told him to stuff it.
We kinda expect it of Trump, whose idea of the great outdoors is one of his golf courses, and scorched earth Republicans, who put their ideological “principles” above people who might like to breathe. Still, I can’t rag Beaumont about their congressman. We elected Steve Stockman once, after all.
Thomas C. Watson, Bridge City
Don’t cut Medicaid
It’s cruel to cut and cap Medicaid. We need to expand Medicaid because it is the program that helps the poor, the elderly and the children to receive health care.
Affordable health care has helped me with my health issues, so far. I can not imagine having no coverage at all.
We need to expand Medicare and Medicaid. We don’t need insurance companies to benefit from our health care program. Let’s go for universal health care. Make sure every one is covered, and the cost will go down too.
Ziba Bastani, Houston
Reduce drug prices
When it comes to how high they price their products, drug companies want the public to ignore what they spend on marketing and the tax breaks they get for direct to consumer advertising.
Instead of acknowledging their pricing strategies, drug companies have launched a finger-pointing campaign at pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
The basic fact: drug companies set the price of the drug. They can charge whatever they feel the market will bear. To combat these massive price hikes, PBMs are hired by employers, unions and health plans to negotiate lower drug costs.
With skyrocketing drug prices, some employers, and insurers providing coverage, are being forced to involve consumers through benefit designs that include higher deductible or increased cost-sharing health plans. In turn drug-makers are blaming insurers for their benefit designs, instead of taking responsibility for the pricing of their drugs.
One thing is for sure: PBMs will negotiate deeper discounts and rebates in an effort to shield America’s consumers from high drug prices.
John D. Jones is a pharmacist and attorney. He currently teaches Pharmacy Law and Ethics at several colleges of pharmacy in California. Until recently, he served as the Senior Vice President of Professional Practice and Pharmacy Policy at OptumRx, a UnitedHealth Group Company, in Irvine, Calif.
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