Thursday, March 18, 2010

Green Light From CBO; Pay/Delay Measure In A Later Sidecar Bill

BREAKING -- a vote could come by Sunday, March 21, 2010 -- (via the New York Times early story) more soon:

. . . .Democrats' new health care reform bill is estimated to cost $940 billion over the next decade without adding to the deficit, sources said.

Sources said the estimates show the updated bill would save $130 billion over the first 10 years and save $1.2 trillion over the second decade. . . .

Ed Silverman, over at Pharmalot, points out that Sen. Herb Kohl has let it be known that the strongest version of a measure to curtail "Pay For Delay" deals has been moved to a sidecar process, as it did not quite as clearly meet the CBO numbers crunchers' formulae.

This means any bill curtailing "pay for delay" deals will itself be. . . um, delayed -- probably into late 2010, or early 2011. Disappointing for US consumers, but yet another tough compromise needed to get overall reform package through expeditiously.

The sidecar bill will ultimately pass, though. There will be just too great a populist (and righteous) groundswell to avoid doing this, any longer -- these anti-competitive deals to stretch the delay of generics, as replacements for branded drugs -- cost millions of limited income US seniors something like $30 billion, every year. That is essentially a wealth transfer, from all of us, as US taxpayers, to big pharma, as more than half of the actual payment from limited income US seniors comes through Medicare -- which we all, collectively, fund with federal budgetary allocations.

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