..::: NEWS RELEASE
..::: JULY 7, 2003
AFCM on Drug Plan: A Prescription for Less Freedom, Higher Costs
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIAAs the recently approved prescription drug plan for
seniors goes to a Congressional conference committee, the grass-roots
Americans for Free Choice In Medicine (AFCM) countered the Bush
Administration's claim that either bill opens Medicare to private, free
"Instead of making their own decisions about the best medications,
patients and their doctors will be reduced to seeking permission to use
what the government decides to provide," argued Richard E. Ralston,
AFCM's executive director, in an op-ed. "This can only result in what
government supplied health care has always produced in the U.S. and
elsewhere: shortages, rationing, waiting lists, higher taxes, lower
quality, less research and fewer new drugs."
Ralston also cautioned the public, including seniors, that drug
subsidies are coming with many strings attached.
"Citizens who think that they should not be responsible for paying
for their own prescription drugs will find, after these proposals become
law, that they are now responsible for paying for everyone elsešs
prescription drugs," he explained.
Citing government-controlled medical systems in other nations,
Ralston asserted that all forms of government intervention in health
care have not been able to deliver improved health care. Quoting the
Times of London, he pointed out that Britain's Labor Party has poured
billions into health care since coming to power and has pledged 40
billion pounds more over the next three years. But two-thirds of newly
diagnosed cancer victims in Britain still have to wait over a month for
radiotherapy to begin.
The American experience, Ralston contended, is no better.
"Medicare, which cost $3 billion a year in 1967, costs $250 billion today and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will cost $474
billion a year by 2012 without any new prescription benefits," he wrote.
"If the government really cares about the cost of drugs," he
continued, "it can stop taxing the dollars that citizens spend on their
own health care costs and open the door to unrestricted medical savings
accounts (MSA). Citizens spending their own dollars on medications will
always spend them more wisely and prudently than the government."
Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, (AFCM), founded in 1993, is
the nation's only educational organization based on individual rights,
personal responsibility and free market ideas in medicine.
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Copyright © 2003 Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. All rights reserved.
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