Friday, October 26, 2007

Competition and "Capitalized Medicine" Work

Lo and behold, competition works -- even in health care.

The Labor Department recently reported that the inflation rate for prescription drugs dropped to 1% over the past year. That's a 30-year low, well below inflation, and a salve for consumers used to price increases.

It's also no accident. Two big things changed in prescription drugs last year. One is a surge in the use of generics. The other is a fierce retail war among Wal-Mart, Publix and other retail-pharmacy giants, each seeking a bigger share of the market.

The decline in drug prices shows that when things go right in health care -- when competitive markets are allowed to function -- prices respond favorably for consumers, just as they do in other sectors of the economy. So while politicians and pundits in Washington dream up the next grandiose health care reform, smart consumers know that the most effective health care solutions may be right around the corner at their local retailer.

~By Robert Goldberg in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer

MP: More government control and additional regulations won't solve the health care problems nearly as effectively as more competition and less regulation. "Capitalized medicine" is much better than "socialized medicine," and results in lower drug prices and greater access, as this example illustrate.

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