The Affordable Care Act compels individuals to purchase health insurance, and it compels states to expand their Medicaid efforts, a joint federal-state program that traditionally provides health insurance for the poor and disabled. In its 2012 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the so-called individual mandate but argued that the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to compel states to expand Medicaid. Should the federal government be involved in state healthcare? What role do state governments have in maintaining public health, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of federal involvement?
It is apparent that the United States has a problem, but what are some solutions to to this crisis? Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to this complex problem, but in order to move forward, we propose several methods that may incite change in the current system in place. Historically, pharmaceutical companies dictate pricing with no restrictions from Medicare, Medicaid, or Federal/State governments. The US government (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, etc.) is the largest buyer of prescription drugs in the world, yet they have no say in the pricing of drugs. Our government also generally issues funds to these pharmaceutical companies for research and development, with substantial investments in the basic science that leads to new drug discoveries. For example, the federal government spent $484 million developing the cancer drug Taxol, which was then taken under agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1993. In 10 years, the manufacturer earned $9 billion in revenue and paid the federal government $35 million in royalties (article). Although 75% of new innovative drugs are supported by federal funding, most consumers and payers are unable to afford these medications due to the unreasonable prices. (article) We propose for the United States government to have the ability to establish delegated sectors to negotiate drug prices. By giving the government some power in dictating cost, this could substantially lower introductory prices, annual costs, and which may reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients. For example, the government may establish a drug’s ceiling price similar to the Federal Ceiling Price program used by the Department of Veteran Affairs. They may also begin use of reference pricing, thus permitting the Department of Health and Human Services to set a benchmark price for clinically comparable drugs that are interchangeable. Though these changes may produce more cost-effective medication, a drawback may be the lack of market diversity. Rather than having one pharmaceutical company dictating the>GET ANSWER