No. Holy fucking shit no. And I don’t care about the fact that Frothy said it to a sick kid, it’s the policy itself that’s maddening.
“People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad,” Santorum said, “but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.”
“You have that drug, and maybe you’re alive today because people have a profit motive to make that drug,” Santorum said. “There are many people sick today who, 10 years from now, are going to be alive because of some drug invented in the next 10 years. If we say: ‘You drug companies are greedy and bad, you can’t make a return on your money,’ then we will freeze innovation.”
There are two rather gigantic, glaring, amusing, horrifying problems with this here. Three, actually.
First up, people are willing to spend a couple hundred on an iPad or a TV because, theoretically, that should last you for a few years. If someone requires say, $150 per month of some drug, that’s $900 every six months, and people just aren’t spending that kind of money on an iPad twice a year. If you told someone that for $900 they could have a drug that will keep them alive, and that the drug lasts as long as they’re willing to take care of it, no one would complain.
Side note, iPads cost less than $500, so what the hell?
Second point, life-saving drugs aren’t as elastic in price as electronic doo-dads. Remember the Playstation 3? It cost $600 when it came out, now you can get one for half. Why? The market wasn’t big on that price. The Nintendo Wii, meanwhile, cost $200 and sold like crazy. That’s because there’s a limit to what people will spend on toys. There aren’t too many people who are going to say “well I need this to stay alive, but eh, screw it that’s too expensive I’ll just die instead.” People kinda need to stay alive, so if you let “the market” control everything, then you’ll have crazy things like drugs that cost $4 to make but sell for $200 a bottle. Oops, that’s already the case.
Finally, Ricky’s point that without being allowed to make billions of dollars, drug companies won’t innovate in making medication to save lives kinda proves that they are greedy assholes. We’re not talking pro athletes or real estate agents. Ostensibly, the driving force behind innovation and production is the desire to better people’s lives, and the money made is a bonus so long as you’re not driving yourself into the poorhouse. It’s the same as the doctor argument that if they can’t make $6mil a year they’ll have no motive to do it. The defense implies that the accusation is true.
Health is not a commodity. Medicine isn’t a capitalist venture. Worst of all, I find it heavily aggravating that I’m taking a more Jesus-like stance than the supposed strong family Christian Republican candidates. If Christ popped on in today and heard what the GOP crop is saying, he’d ask if he could take back that whole “dying for our sins” thing.