Open thread August 9, 2022 Dan Crawford | August 9, 2022 6:16 am Comments (15) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
With Deal in Hand, Democrats Enter the Fall Armed With Something New: Hope
NY Times – Aug 9
How a Last-Minute Lobbying Blitz Watered Down a Climate Bill Tax
NY Times – Aug 8
Thoughts on the Inflation Reduction Act.
1. It’s a start on climate change. But lots more action still needed. The US will spend $369 billion over 10 years. Sounds like a lot. But the US also just passed a veterans bill that will spend $280 billion for health care. And the semi conductor bill just passed also allocates $280 billion. For an existential problem like climate change we are only getting started financially.
2. The Democrats wasted a year on this. Joe Manchin told Chuck Schumer over a year ago that his topline was $1.5 trillion. And Krysten Sinema made it clear that she would not vote for most tax increases. Perhaps Bernie Sanders is not the best choice of Democrats for Senate Budget Chair. One, he is not a Democrat. Two, he doesn’t represent the median Democratic Senator. He did not appear to be able to make a deal with Manchin and Sinema.
3. The Medicare provisions may prove to be the best piece. Big Pharma has finally lost a battle. While the initial drugs subject to negotiation are limited, this could be expanded quickly at a later date. The $2000 annual cap is easy to sell. The DSCC and DCCC should be on air today with ads about the Medicare provisions.
4. The $80 billion for IRS expansion is huge. Included in audits should be all the fraudulent PPP loans that were made over the past two years.
5. Bill Gates was a big IRA supporter, especially the climate pieces. It’s time for Gates to get off his ass and start supporting the Democratic Party with very hefty contributions. There needs to be some help to counter the Uhleins, etc on the other side. And maybe Ms. Mackenzie Scott too.
Ten drugs to negotiate in the beginning is small. Three years out is too long. Which drug will they pick? Humira is the most costly drug and has been out for a while. R&D costs should have been recouped by now. If you look at the latest I put up, you will see a list of the top fifty drugs. Which one do you think would be worthy?
Repubs are against capping Insulin charges. More later as this unfolds.
The 10 drugs chosen will probably be a political decision based on consumer numbers, pharma company, etc. We saw last year how the one new Alzheimer drug pushed our Medicare premium up by probably ten dollars a month.
The immediate provision that will help is the one about limiting any drug price increase to be lower than the inflation rate. This might turn out to be very helpful.
Which Inflation Rate? All prescription and over-the-counter drugs inflation rate as of December 2021 is 1.42%.
The ICER calculates if a company is overcharging by adding 2% to the “All prescription and over-the-counter drugs rate of 1.42%. From there, it will determine pricing. It also asks companies to submit documentation supporting any pricing exceeding the 2% + the “prescription and over-the-counter drugs medical CPI rate of 1.42%.
However none of this by the ICER and the government will take into account manufacturing costs which typically are far less than the sales price.
Should Pharma be allowed a price considering the inflation rate of the nation >11% (if that is what it is right now)?
Keeping up with the former guy…
Trump says he’s testifying Wednesday in NY investigation
Boston Globe – Aug 10
In other news…
Mar-a-Lago search sparks questions about Trump’s potential legal peril
Boston Globe – Aug 9
(IMO, it seems that the DOJ may be trying to secure whatever classified material Trump may still be in possession of, and they determined that further subpoenas would not accomplish this, but outright seizure would – via a search warrant.
It happens that the federal law on improper possession of classified material includes a penalty that one who is guilty is denied the right to hold future office, so it is unlikely that Trump will be charged. But the documents will be secured.)
US inflation slips from 40-year peak but remains high 8.5 percent
Boston Globe – Aug 10
Inflation Cooled in July, Welcome News …
NY Times – Aug 10
Markets rise sharply, seizing on slower inflation numbers
The Dobbs Index is now down only 15% since the end of 2021.
Buying opportunities still abound!
AG Garland moves to make public the warrant and supporting documents used in the search of Mar-a-Lago
NY Times – Aug 11
Subpoena Preceded Search Warrant in Push to Retrieve Material From Trump